Sci-Tech: Lilium Jet electric VTOL vehicle makes first demo flights

The German startup company Lilium has now flown the first full-scale prototype of their electric-powered vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft called the Lilium Jet:

They explain what they mean by electric jet as follows:

The electric jet engines work like turbofan jet engines in a regular passenger jet. They suck in air, compress it and push it out the back. However, the compressor fan in the front is not turned by a gas turbine, but by a high performance electric motor. Therefore, they run much quieter and completely emission-free.

The vehicle will have a range of 300 km (186 miles) at 300km/hour. The goal is to fly in 2019 “the first fully functional jet”, which can carry up to five passengers. The key target market is dial-up taxi service by early 2020s.

The current design of the production vehicle looks like this:

Announcement about the prototype test flights:

Lilium celebrates successful flight tests and introduces 5-seater VTOL jet

We have incredibly exciting news to share. The Lilium Jet successfully completed its maiden test flight series in the skies above Bavaria. The 2-seater Eagle prototype executed a range of complex maneuvers, including its signature mid-air transition from hover mode to wing-borne forward flight.

Seeing the Lilium Jet take to the sky and performing sophisticated maneuvers with apparent ease is testament to the skill and perseverance of our amazing team. We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point. The successful test flight programme shows that our ground-breaking technical design works exactly as we envisioned. We can now turn our focus to designing a 5-seater production aircraft.

We are now developing a larger, 5-seater version of our Lilium Jet, designed for on-demand air taxi and ridesharing services. A typical journey with the Lilium Jet will be at least 5x faster than by car, with even greater efficiencies in busy cities. So a flight from Manhattan to New York’s JFK Airport will take around 5 minutes, compared to the 55 minutes it would take you by car.

Please make sure you read more about Lilium’s mission and technology.

As well as making great progress in the air, we’ve also updated our Lilium brand. Enjoy our new website, we hope you like it!


A couple of articles about Lilium: