World’s First eVTOL Jet Coming to Life by the End of This Year

Are you ready for the Lilium jet? It claims to be the first all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet in the world and the only one of its kind. Although test flights will only kick off next year, the first production unit is being completed as we speak and is set to be ready before the end of 2023.
A Spanish aerospace supplier will manufacture the fuselage of the first Lilium jet before the final assembly in Germany 10 photos
Photo: Lilium
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Like most startups in this emerging air mobility sector, the German company Lilium is relying on multiple global partners for producing its unique eVTOL. Aciturri (one of its main investors) is a reputable aerospace supplier that made essential components for some of the best-known commercial aircraft, including the Airbus A400M and Boeing 787.

Aciturri will now assemble the fuselage for the first Lilium Jet at its facility in Valladolid, Spain. From there, the fuselage will be delivered to the Lilium facility in Wessling, Germany, for final assembly. All of this is set to happen before the end of 2023, in line with the German company's target for the first piloted flights. The test flight campaign is due to start towards the end of 2024.

This initial unit will be the first in a series of seven aircraft. Lilium says it will use these first production jets to finalize the type certification process.

Earlier this month, the manufacturer secured another strategic partnership with a tier-one cockpit and cabin windows supplier. Saint-Gobain Aerospace will provide custom-designed windows for the future electric jet. The windshields will be adapted specifically for optimal visibility and bird-strike resistance. The cabin windows will also be designed to limit fogging and icing for better visibility.

At the moment, Lilium claims to be the only eVTOL manufacturer on track to certify a power lift eVTOL aircraft with both EASA (The European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).

The power lift eVTOL features DEVT (Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust) technology, developed in-house by the German startup. This technology was coupled with an innovative aircraft design – the future jet won't have fixed wings or a tail, and its engines will be integrated into the wing flaps.

All of this is meant to improve aerodynamic efficiency, reduce noise levels, and allow for a bigger payload while also making the Lilium jet easier to operate.

It all started with the idea of adapting jet engine technology to an all-electric aircraft, which would be a first in the AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) industry. Since jet engines power more than 90% of existing aircraft, Lilium wanted to come up with electric jet engines using a single-stage rotor/stator system that's driven by an electric motor.

In the meantime, the German startup has also secured customers worldwide, including an exclusive collaboration in the UK for a luxury private jet version of its air taxi.
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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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