Table of Contents
Listen to this article
The German Lilium GmbH start-up was Created in 2015 by 4 engineers and product designers from the Technical University of Munich: Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Patrick Nathen, and Matthias Meiner (Wessling is a municipality located near Munich, Germany).
The European Space Agency and the European Union’s Climate-KIC initiative, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focusing on climate innovation to reduce and adapt to climate change, provided initial financing to the firm. Lilium had raised more than $100 million by September 2017, and it was reported in October 2019 that they are looking for another $400 to $500 million in funding.
Tom Enders, the former Chief Executive Officer of Airbus, has joined Lilium’s Board of Directors. Lilium is worth $1 billion, according to a report.
Lilium intends to both manufacture and operate the Lilium Jet as a point-to-point on-demand regional air taxi service, with passengers flying within an urban area, within rural areas, between urban and rural areas, or between cities, and expanding their Radius of Life – the area in which we live our daily lives. On-demand air transportation, according to Lilium’s aerial ride-sharing operations, may enhance a person’s Radius of Life by a factor of 25.
Lilium’s next flying aim, as of October 2019, is to complete a year of high-speed flight tests. To eliminate the possibility of any pilots dying during a failed test flight, test flights will remain to be remotely flown. Lilium said on June 11, 2019, that London will be the “basis for an international software team it aims to establish.” Many high-end software engineering jobs will be generated in the city within the next five years as the company strives to make economical, on-demand air taxis real by 2025.
Lilium Advanced Factory
The business has also launched the serial manufacture of the Lilium Jet at a second, considerably bigger smart manufacturing facility, compared to its first 3,000 square meter plant. Their production facilities are designed from the ground up utilizing 3-D technology, allowing everyone engaged to examine and comment on the factory layout. The supply chain is being simulated to understand how it reacts to breakdowns and unanticipated events.
Smart factories, scalable to different sizes, will be built from the ground up to be digitally native and apply adaptive work instructions. This approach to their manufacturing plants is being taken in order to reach bigger production volumes than those now produced by the aviation sector. By the time commercial services commence, Lilium hopes to have produced hundreds of airplanes each year.
Lilium Jet Service Price
The business has indicated that they will erect landing pads, or Lili pads, on the tops of buildings and other structures, and that its Lili pads will require minimum infrastructure. The cost of their on-demand airborne ride-sharing service will be comparable to that of a taxi. In reality, they have conducted multiple pricing analyses, and the cost of flying has been proved to be cheaper than the cost of a cab on the road in several circumstances. When compared to its road vehicle ride-sharing relative, the business expects that airborne ride-sharing will generate 17 times the income. The corporation wants its air service to be inexpensive and available to the whole public, rather than just a select few.
The Lilium Jet will not be sold to the general public, according to the company. This decision was made early on in the company’s formation. Lilium plans to be fully operational in a number of cities across the world by 2025, however testing services will begin in a number of areas sooner. Lilium employs about 350 employees as of October 2019, is currently employing over 150 individuals, and expects to add up to 500 new workers between now and 2025.
Five Seat Lilium Jet
On May 16, 2019, Lilium announced the first untethered and unmanned five-seater Lilium Jet flight, which took place on May 4, 2019, at the Special Airport Oberpfaffenhofen in Munich, Germany. Prior to its first flight, the plane underwent extensive ground testing. The full-scale prototype is driven by 36 all-electric ducted fans, allowing for vertical take-off and landing while maintaining an economical horizontal flight path.
The power consumption per km in cruising mode is equivalent to that of an electric vehicle. In flight, it emits no pollutants, and the aircraft is approved as a fixed-wing aircraft. At take-off, the plane is six to seven times quieter than a helicopter. Not only are Lilium’s electric motors quieter than combustion engines, but they’ve also built a duct to absorb as much noise as possible. Each motor is independently insulated, ensuring that the failure of one does not influence the other. The canard in front of the pilot will not be retractable.
It will be simple to pilot (a Sport Pilot’s License is required), and Lilium’s Flying Envelope Protection System will prohibit a pilot from exceeding the aircraft’s flight restrictions. Initially, the company intends to have its aircraft piloted for airborne ride-sharing, but in the future, its aircraft will fly autonomously.
The aircraft has been performing increasingly sophisticated maneuvers and longer flights since its inaugural flight, which featured a straightforward vertical take-off and landing. The first step is to examine culminated with a flight that saw the aircraft travel at velocities exceeding 100 km/h (62 mph), turn at bank angles of up to 30 degrees, and climb and descends vertically at rates of 152 m (500 ft) per minute after passing more than 100 different ground and flight tests.
Flight test engineers, pilots, a flight test instrumentation team, and flight test maintenance engineers are among the four teams that collaborate on flight testing at Lilium. Their systems engineering and software developers assist them. A test flight requires around 40 personnel in total. The aircraft, which is piloted from the land, will now progress to the second testing phase, which will focus on how it operates at high speeds.
In Terms Of Safety & Maneuverability
The Lilium Jet is more efficient, safer, and maneuverable thanks to its 36 engines.
The integration of the engines into the wings results in an increase in efficiency. The engine nacelles are a portion of the wing that aids in lift generation. This implies we may minimize the wing’s surface area and the resulting drag (friction caused when flying through the air). Having multiple engines lets you spread the power more evenly across the wing, increasing efficiency.
Redundancy contributes to the increase in safety. We’re well protected with 36 separate engines in the extremely unusual event that one fails.
The plane also passed a series of safety tests, including engine and flap failures, as well as fuse-blow tests on the air or on the ground, during the initial round of evaluation. After a test flight, the aircraft is returned to the hangar for charging while their technical teams examine the large quantity of data collected by the more than 9,000 analyzed parameters during each flight.
Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) ensures safety for its passengers and/or cargo through redundancy. DEP refers to an aircraft’s many propellers and motors, such that if one or more motors or propellers fail, the remaining operating motors and propellers can safely land the plane. 36 electric ducted fans, 36 electric motors, and a triple-redundant flight control computer provide ultra-redundancy. A tiny fan responds significantly faster than a big fan, allowing the aircraft to respond much faster to any control input. The jet also features a full-flight parachute. Because it has wings and wheeled landing gear, the aircraft can land like a plane.
Last but not least, using smaller engines boosts an aircraft’s maneuverability. Because the time it takes to boost (‘spin up’) or reduce (‘spin down’) power in a tiny engine is substantially shorter than it is in a standard aircraft engine, the Lilium Jet can respond to control inputs much faster. In fact, our in-house-built electric engines are capable of ‘spinning up’ from zero thrust to maximum thrust in less than one second!
Lilium Jet Engines
The Lilium Jet is qualified to perform far longer travels than the bulk of its competitors, with a peak speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) and a range of 300 km (186 m). This is owing, in part, to the aircraft’s fixed-wing configuration. While multicopter-based aircraft expend a lot of energy to stay in the air, the Lilium Jet can rely on the lift provided by the fixed-wing to do so, which means it will only need around 10% of its full 2,000 horsepower when it achieves cruising flight.
Of course, the 300 km (186 mph) range is the greatest achievable range, taking into consideration headwinds, reserves, and current battery efficiency. “We’re not anticipating the present prototype that you see flying about today to travel 300 kilometers,” Walker-Jones said. We cannot guarantee that it will fly 300 kilometers. We’re looking ahead to 2025, and not just having an airplane that has been tuned to go as far as possible, but also the improvement in battery [energy] density that you should see.”
The simplicity of the Lilium Jet:
- No folding propellers or wings
- No tail
- No rudder
- No propellers
- No gearboxes
- No tilting wings
- No water cooling
- No liquids (petroleum fuel or oil)
- No single point of failure. (Example of a single point of failure: If an aircraft has one engine [such as a Cessna 150] and that one engine fails, that is a single point of failure.)
- Wings provide greater efficiency for forward flight
- Each electric motor has one moving part
- 36 ducted fans provide ultra-redundancy
Lilium Jet Aircraft Design
One of Lilium’s primary design components is simplicity. Many items may be left out of an airplane to reduce complexity, which correlates to cheaper manufacturing costs, lower maintenance costs, more safety (fewer things can fail), higher affordability, less weight, and increased efficiency. According to the firm, any component that is not present does not need to be produced or maintained. A few points concerning the Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft‘s importance of simplicity are listed below.
Lilium Jet 5 seater Specs
|Aircraft||Lilium Jet eVTOL Jet 5 seater.|
|Piloting||Initially, aircraft will be piloted, but in the future, they will be self-piloted.|
|Capacity||5 passenger capacity.|
|Cruising speed||300 km/h cruising speed (186 mph).|
|Range||300 kilometer range (186 statute miles).|
|Maximum flight time||60 minutes.|
|Propulsion||36 electric ducted fans and 36 electric motors provide propulsion.|
The electric ducted fans are arranged in three pairs in the wings, totaling twelve fan units or flaps.
Each forward wing has two flaps and each rear wing has four flaps.
During vertical flight, transitioning between vertical and forward flight, and during forward flight, each flap may tilt independently of the others and work at different rates, based on wind conditions, resulting in an exceptionally stable and safe flying.
|Fan technology||Officially, the corporation would not comment on the technology it employs.|
|Energie||Batteries provide power, Officially, the corporation is not commenting on the technology it employs.|
|Wing||Canard wings configuration.|
|Inside||The interior is vast and will be designed to provide the best possible experience for passengers.|
According to Lilium, seats can alter shape to accommodate the individual, the canopy may transform into a screen to make flying more fun, and customers would arrange flights via an app.
|Windows||The dome-shaped window offers a good sight above, to the left, to the right, and forward.|
|Landing gear||Retractable landing gear on a tricycle with wheels.|
|Noise||6–7 times quieter than a helicopter when taking off.|
|Certification||Fixed-wing aircraft certification|
|Lilium vertiport||known as Lili pad.|
Lilium Jet Seven Seater
In May of 2019, Lilium began quietly developing a seven-seat Lilium Jet. Lilium GmbH announced its merger with Qell Acquisition Corp. on March 30, 2021, and disclosed the creation of its 7-seat Lilium Jet, the conclusion of five years of technical development over four generations of technology demonstrations. Combining with Qell (Nasdaq: QELL), a publicly-traded Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), is projected to raise an additional $830 million, bringing the total amount raised to $380 million. At the $10.00 per share Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) pricing, the merged firm is worth around $3.3 billion.
The earnings from the SPAC will be used to help support the start of commercial operations in 2024. This comprises the establishment of German manufacturing facilities, the start of serial production aircraft, and category certification.
In Florida, up to 14 vertiports are already proposed (USA). Lilium is also in advanced talks with major infrastructure partners to construct a network of ten vertiports across Europe. The business said in January 2021 that they are building a network of at least 10 vertiports across Florida (USA).
The manufacture of Lilium’s seven-seat electric plane is set to begin in 2023 with 25 units. The company’s next target is to construct 250 planes in 2024, followed by 400 planes in 2025. Lilium also hopes to produce a 16-seat eVTOL plane in 2027 and a 50-seat eVTOL jet in 2030.
Lilium Jet Range
The seven-seat Lilium jet will have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles), down from the 300 kilometers (160 miles) previously claimed for the five-seater, and a maximum take-off weight of 3,175 kilometers (7,000 lb). The new eVTOL plane has been characterized as a larger version of the present Lilium Jet, which has five seats.
Alexander Asseily, an early Lilium investor and now the company’s chief strategy officer, revealed that the five-seat Lilium Jet was never intended to be certified:
Lilium Jet Seven Seater Safety
Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) ensures safety for its passengers and/or cargo through redundancy. DEP refers to an aircraft’s many propellers and motors, such that if one or more motors or propellers fail, the remaining operating motors and propellers can safely land the plane.
Lilium Jet Seven Seater Specs
|Aircraft||Lilium Jet eVTOL 7 seater.|
|Speed||280 km/h is the cruise speed (175 mph).|
|Range||250 kilometres (155 miles) is the maximum range.|
|Altitude||3,000 meters is the cruise altitude (10,000 ft).|
|Propellers||36 ducted fans.|
|Energie||Batteries are the power source.|
|Fuselage||Carbon fiber composite.|
|Windows||Spectacular views are provided by the large windows.|
|Wings||Ailerons and a canard on the high rear wing.|
|Landing gear||Consists of a tricycle with fixed wheels.|
|Noise||6–7 times quieter than a helicopter when taking off.|
|Certification||Fixed-wing aircraft certification.|
|Lilium vertiport||known as Lili pad.|