For several years, and through multiple generations of aircraft demonstrators, Lilium has refined its proprietary technology called the Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (DEVT). The electric jet engines that are integrated into the wing flaps help to efficiently maneuver the jet during all flight phases through thrust vector control, and also improve the aircraft's aerodynamic properties and its payload, according to the manufacturer.
This electric jet also comes with a flexible configuration – it can be operated as a luxury private jet with four seats, an air shuttle with six seats, or even a cargo aircraft with no seats. The first option got the attention of none other than the biggest private aviation company in the world, NetJets. The two have just signed the contract for the purchase of 150 electric jets, which will soon be available for NetJets' shared ownership program.
But there’s more – the private jet operator said that it will also collaborate with Lilium for a private sales campaign aimed at folks who would want to purchase one of these eVTOL jets for themselves. “Lilium’s aircraft will expand our fleet options and provide our customers with a new and flexible means of private air travel,” added NetJets' CEO, Adam Johnson.
A third partner teamed up with the two companies to make this transition to eVTOL private jets even easier. FlightSafety International, an expert in aviation training, will use its advanced software to provide flight simulators and training services for the future Lilium jet pilots.
This is certainly a milestone for the German startup, which is also working on a future aviation network, including vertiports, in Florida, with plans of extending to other regions in the U.S. and to Europe.
We're thrilled to be teaming up with @NetJets as we work to add a fleet of Lilium Jets with zero operating emissions to their fractional ownership program and explore partnering on flight operations in Florida, other regions in the US and Europe. https://t.co/AczEdf2bOj pic.twitter.com/y8HuExe8vX— Lilium (@Lilium) March 8, 2022