Lilium Electric airplane is eagerly awaited

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.[1] 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.[3][4] 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:

  • VTOL
  • 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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Arun Bhatia

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