Electronics Production | May 17, 2019
Up, up and away for Germany's Lilium
Lilium, the Munich-based startup developing an on- demand air taxi service, has revealed its new five-seater air taxi prototype for the first time. The unveiling of the new Lilium Jet came as the all-electric aircraft completed its maiden flight in the skies over Germany earlier this month.
The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically. The company says that the aircraft design, with no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine has contributed to the safety and affordability of the aircraft. “Today we are taking another huge step towards making urban air mobility a reality. In less than two years we have been able to design, build and successfully fly an aircraft that will serve as our template for mass production. Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travelers,"says Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO. The Lilium Jet – which has a top speed of 300 km/h and a range of 300km – first took to the air at 08.03 local time on 4th May 2019, having completed extensive ground testing at Lilium’s HQ in Munich, Germany. The prototype aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, has since begun a rigorous flight test campaign that will prove its capability and lay the foundations for certification of the aircraft to safety standards comparable to those of large commercial aircraft. The startup plans to manufacture and operate the Lilium Jet as part of an on-demand air taxi service. The end goal is that at the push of a button, passengers will be able to use the Lilium app to locate their nearest landing pad and plan their journey. Lilium expects to be fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025. The latest five-seater Lilium Jet builds on the successful flight testing of a two-seater prototype in 2017. The two-seater prototype provided proof of concept for Lilium’s signature transition flight maneuver, where the aircraft shifts from vertical to horizontal flight, and laid the groundwork for today’s prototype. The five-seater prototype will now enter a rigorous flight test campaign that will see it demonstrate its full range of capabilities.