The World’s First eVTOL Jet Is Getting Top-Level Flight Controls

The Lilium eVTOL Jet Will Boast Flight Controls from Collins Aerospace 8 photos
Photo: Lilium
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Every eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) manufacturer out there claims that their product is a world-first in one way or another. In the case of the Munich-based Lilium, its electric aircraft is heralded as the first eVTOL jet. The final version is closer to certification, thanks to multiple partnerships with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Safety is a key aspect for the certification of future electric air taxis. The equivalent of that from the public’s point of view is trust. These zero-emission flying cars are an entirely new concept, which means that excitement and uncertainty are both part of the game.

One way to ensure the best outcome, regulation-wise as well as for public acceptance, is to include established aerospace companies in the production process.

Collins Aerospace is one of them. An expert in flight deck controls, with decades behind it, it was the perfect choice for equipping the Lilium aircraft with a top-notch pilot interface.

According to Collins Aerospace, the inceptors that it’s developing specifically for this eVTOL will be better than conventional sidesticks in terms of space and weight savings. The main benefit will be easier access for the pilot to all the mechanical and electrical flight controls. And it also doesn’t hurt that the overall design will be esthetically-pleasing.

Collins Aerospace is the second big name to be linked to the Lilium eVTOL, after GKN Aerospace. GKN is in charge of developing a dedicated EWIS (electric wiring interconnection systems) solution for the same aircraft. The EWIS hardware will be integrated into the eVTOL at Lilium’s final assembly line in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

These collaborations are showing that Lilium is on track with its plan to kick off commercial services by 2025. In addition to the standard six-seat version, the German eVTOL maker will also release a luxury limited-edition with a four-seat configuration.

Only 50 units of this Lilium Pioneer Edition Jet will be produced. The bad news is that they’ll only be available for purchase in the UK, through eVolare, a subsidiary of Volare Aviation. The manufacturer hasn’t shared too many details about this upcoming limited-edition model, but we do know that it will boast a premium cabin interior, with so-called “exclusive fabrics” and fancy customization options.

In either version, the Lilium eVTOL jet will feature the same advanced components and technology, which is the most important part. What differentiates it from all the other eVTOLs is the Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (DEVT) technology.

The German manufacturer says that it was the first to integrate electric jet engines into an eVTOL’s wing flaps. This is said to boost aerodynamic efficiency, reduce noise levels, and improve control through every phase of the flight. So far, Lilium has already tested multiple prototypes, up to a fifth-generation demonstrator.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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