I wrote about the Lilium electric airplane in November 2021 and you can read it here.
Since then, the company is making a steady progress and they participated in the Farnborough International Airshow held recently.
As a matter of fact, there are now a range of contenders in the pipeline from various companies working to enter this space. Please refer to Fig.1 below courtesy-newatlas.com:
However, Lilium, to my mind is the most impressive and steadily in progress.
The Lilium Jet is a prototype five-seat German electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) electrically powered airplane designed by Lilium GmbH. A seven-seat production version is planned.
Initial design studies included forward-folding wings, so that the aircraft could be piloted as a VTOL and recharge in only few hours from a standard 240 V electrical outlet. A first half-scale demonstrator, Falcon, flew in 2015.
The unmanned first flight of the two-seat Eagle full size prototype was on 20 April 2017 at the Mindelheim-Mattsies airfield, Bavaria, Germany.
The five-seat unmanned Lilium Jet was flight tested at Oberpfaffenhofen airfield near Munich. It first flew in May 2019. By October 2019, after 100 flights, it could transition from vertical to horizontal flight, reaching over 100 km/h, but not yet fully horizontal.It managed 25° banked turns, high ascent/descent rates like in operations, hover turns and sideward translations. Electrical, fan and flap failures were mitigated by the electrical and flight control systems.
The salient features of Lilium are:
- Electric Jet propulsion
- Zero emissions
- High aerodynamic efficiency
- Ducted engines provide high payload at low footprint
- Low noise profile
- Spacious interior
That’s all in this newsletter; more next week.
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