June 1, 2022
Lilium, among the leaders in a crowded field vying to be the first to field an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, announced that its demonstration aircraft, the Phoenix 2, has completed the main wing transition, which the company says is an industry first.
Munich-based Lilium was founded in 2015 and its prototype design, which uses ducted electric motors to generate vertical lift for takeoff and landing, and lift from the wings to extend range cruising, is at the center of the company’s journey towards sustainable development. and accessible regional high-speed mode of transportation.
The main wing transition stage makes the Phoenix 2 “the first-ever full-size electric jet aircraft to transition from hover to wing-borne flight.” Lilium explained: “From a flight physics perspective, completing the transition means that the airflow passing over the flaps attaches and becomes smooth, allowing lift to be generated by the wing. (as in conventional fixed-wing aircraft), rather than by the engines (which is the case during the hover phase).
The Phoenix 2 remained stable throughout the test and performed as predicted by Lilium’s proprietary flight dynamics model. “The main wing transition is a huge step forward on our path to launch and it validates our flight dynamics model. All credit goes to the outstanding team at Lilium who have worked so hard to get us here and who remain focused on the rest of the flight test campaign,” said Matthias Meiner, Phoenix Chief Engineer and co-founder of Lilium.
In March, NetJets announced a partnership with Lilium and its right to purchase up to 150 Lilium jets for use under the company’s shared ownership program. The partnership also includes operational support for Lilium’s hub currently under development in Florida.
Lilium said in the press release that it “will continue its flight test campaign throughout the summer, further expanding the flight envelope, including transitioning forward canards and high-speed flights” . Lilium aims to receive initial type certification in 2025, with production to begin upon certification.