THE LILIUM JET
There are plenty of electric cars and water vessels. But will there ever be electric aircraft? Whilst large jumbo jets and airbuses are a long way off, one company that definitely thinks so is Lilium. This company is working on a commuter aircraft. They pride themselves in sustainable air travel. Check them out here: https://lilium.com/
See the YouTube links at the foot of this post for the best views of the vehicle.
You can also check out more on this scene at a previous blog here: FLYING CARS
What is the Lilium Jet?
The Lilium Jet is a prototype German electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) electrically powered airplane. It is designed by Lilium GmbH. The unmanned first flight of the two-seat Eagle full size prototype was on 20 April 2017 in Bavaria. The five-seat unmanned Lilium Jet was flight tested at an airfield near Munich. It first flew in May 2019. By October 2019, after 100 flights, it could transition from vertical to horizontal flight, reaching over 100 km/h.
A seven-seat production version is ongoing.
In a Lilium Jet, lift is generated conventionally by propellers. The propellers are rotated via purely electromagnetic means. The six passenger version is powered by 36 electric motors, six on each of the two front wings and twelve on each rear wing. The engines are installed above twelve tilting rear flaps. The drive-carrying flaps pivot downwards for vertical launch. They then transition to the horizontal position for forward thrust.
The airframe of the Lilium Jet is made of high-performance carbon fiber composite materials.
The target range is around 280 km. The 36 electric ducted fans are powered by a 1 MW lithium-ion battery. Less than 150 kW is required to cruise.
Lilium have combined with Qell Acquisition Corp., which provides Lilium with access to capital and industry experience. The launch of commercial operations is planned for 2024.
The 7-Seater Lilium Jet will be Lilium’s first aircraft to go into serial production.
A launch network in Florida is planned, with up to 14 vertiport development sites confirmed, to be built and operated by Lilium’s infrastructure partners.
An engineering project of this vision, scope and size can only be applauded. The vehicle looks the part and has been extensively tested, despite the advent of the Covid pandemic. All power to Lilium’s elbow.
References and further reading
UPDATE ON HUMANOID ROBOTICS
This month’s blog looks at the advances in humanoid robotics. Artificial intelligence is advancing by leaps and bounds, and the world of Isaac Asimov appears ever closer. What is remarkable is the ability of these machines [I’ll still call them that] to mimic human facial expressions and movement. If you have a look at…Continue Reading