Sometimes a piece of engineering comes along which is truly game changing. This is one of them for aviation.
Simplicity the Key
There are many drone type electric aircraft which we have covered in the past. They are great, and about to hit the Sky’s in Dubai and Asia. However they have limited speed and range. Along comes the lilium Jet and the range is now 300 klms at 300km/hour using the same battery size. Given it is more than likely power densities of batteries will double if not triple in the next 3 to 5 years then we are looking at impressive ranges of up to 1,000km
The other impressive factor is simplicity. Helicopters, planes cost a fortune to maintain with expensive blades, gearboxes and engines. They can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars per hour for larger ones, just in maintenance. You also have reliability problems with so many moving parts. This design reduces capital costs dramatically , reduce maintenance cost 100 fold and improves reliability.
Finally , the cost of developing this innovation is way cheaper than people like Boeing or Lockheed Martin spend (billions)
This really ticks all the boxes and will have a huge impact on aviation in years to come.
The Lilium Jet consists of a rigid winged body with 12 flaps. Each one carries three electric jet engines. Depending on the flight mode, the flaps tilt from a vertical into a horizontal position. At take-off, all flaps are tilted vertical, so that the engines can lift the aircraft. Once airborne, the flaps gradually tilt into a horizontal position, leading the aircraft to accelerate. When they have reached complete horizontal position, all lift necessary to stay aloft is provided by the wings as on a conventional airplane.
One Flap, Covering it All
The beauty of this system is its simplicity. In comparison to existing concepts, Lilium Jets require no gearboxes, no foldable or variable pitch propellers, no water-cooling, and no aerodynamic steering flaps. Just tiltable electric engines.
What’s more: The Lilium Jet has the highest possible structural efficiency. As we can provide differential thrust from the engines in cruise flight, no stabilizing tail is necessary.
Electric Jet Engines
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.
Reliability and Maintenance
The Lilium Jet engines have only one moving part – the central shaft of the rotor holding both the fan in the front and the magnets of the electric motor. This ensures highest reliability in operation and low maintenance costs of the propulsion system. The high redundancy of the system allows large inspection intervals to keep costs much lower than for helicopters or reciprocating engines.
Low Noise & Vibrations
The large open rotors of a helicopter induce vibrations into the cabin. The whole vehicle vibrates in the frequency of the rotor blades passing. Our electric jet engines, however, run smoothly. This ensures a quality passenger experience during the entire flight. Likewise a big advantage of electric jet engines is their low noise signature for people on the ground.
To fulfill our safety objectives, we chose the concept of ultra-redundancy. We equip the Lilium Jet with small independent components, so that, for example, a single engine failure does not have consequences for the aircraft’s safety or stability. The system can still do a vertical landing with a loss of up multiple engines. This philosophy of redundancy has been applied to all flight systems.
- Number of passengers: 5 (currently 2 on test model)
- Number of engines: 36
- Range: up to 300 km
- Cruising velocity: 300 km/h
- Wing-span: 10 m
- Concept: canard with powered lift
- Take-off and landing: vertically
Lilium is a disruptive aviation start-up based in Munich. Co-founded in 2015 by Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Patrick Nathen and Matthias Meiner, the team brings together international world-class engineers and designers.
The group shares the vision of a completely new type of individual transportation and is dedicated to develop and build the world’s first fully electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet. An estimated range of up to 300 km and a top speed of 300 km/h, along with zero emissions make it the most efficient and eco-friendly individual means of transportation of our time. By providing ultra-redundancy, the Lilium Jet will also set new standards in safety.
Lilium aims at liberating towns and cities from today’s congestion and pollution, with people able to come and go freely, vastly expanding the radius of their everyday lives.
Our mission is to enable a world where everybody can fly anywhere, anytime.
Our vision is to be the leading company in on-demand air transportation by providing quiet, eco-friendly and exceptionally designed VTOL jets and a magical user experience.