Lilium is starting assembly of its electric propulsion system at its dedicated facility in Germany, as the eVTOL developer takes another step towards commercial entry into service.

The company is still targeting its first manned flight of the aircraft in late 2024.

Yves Yemsi, COO of Lilium, said: “The start of propulsion assembly represents a significant step towards industrializing the Lilium Jet.

“In the coming weeks, we will be systematically working towards validating our manufacturing capabilities and preparing to deliver the propulsion units for initial aircraft integration and type-certification testing.”

Klaus Roewe, CEO of Lilium, added: “Today’s announcement brings us one big step closer to the dawn of a new, sustainable jet era. The iconic, sleek aircraft design is a key differentiator of the Lilium Jet.

“Thanks to the unique propulsion system and aerodynamic jet architecture, I believe the Lilium Jet will set the benchmark for the eVTOL industry, opening the way for superior performance, unit economics and comfort. 95% of commercial airplanes today use jet engines, which offer high safety in addition to the best cabin experience with low vibration and noise, combined with great payload and range potential.”

‘Special moment’ for Lilium

Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and chief engineer for innovation and future programmes, said: “For my fellow co-founders and myself, the start of industrial assembly of the Lilium Jet’s propulsion unit marks a special moment.

“It was our shared belief in the radical potential of our electric jet technology that formed the nucleus of our company and that has driven Lilium forward ever since. I’m more convinced than ever that our vision of a sustainable new form of high speed and affordable regional transportation will become a commercial reality.”

The start of assembly follows extensive testing of propulsion subsystems delivered by suppliers: the custom-designed aircraft e-motor, developed and built-in collaboration with Denso and Honeywell; the titanium compressor fan, developed and built in collaboration with Aeronamic; and electric motor bearings built in collaboration with SKF.

In July this year, the company completed testing of a full-size prototype Lilium Jet fan and stator at Jetpel’s facilities, one of Germany’s leading aviation technology centers, which confirmed the fan design’s robust operating parameters.

Additionally, testing has started on a prototype e-motor, for its mechanical, electrical, and thermal performance. The Lilium Jet e-motor has been designed to deliver industry-leading power density of over 100kW from a system weighing just over 4kg.
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