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Lilium completes successful tests of its revolutionary electric jet propulsion unit

Lilium Press Release | June 26, 2024

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 7 seconds.

Lilium N.V., an electric aircraft manufacturer and pioneer in regional air mobility (RAM), has successfully completed the first series of tests of its electric jet propulsion unit.

For the first time, the electric engines were taken up to maximum thrust on the propulsion unit test bench, representing a landmark achievement on the journey to zero operating emissions flight and an important step towards verifying safety of flight of the Lilium Jet.

The tests performed have demonstrated the expected level of performance and reliability, bolstering Lilium’s confidence in the maturity of its electric jet propulsion system.

Testing of the propulsion unit, comprising two engines within a propulsion mounting system, was carried out at Lilium’s dedicated propulsion unit test bed, located at Lilium’s headquarters near Munich.

The test bed has been designed for aerodynamic and electrical performance evaluation of Lilium’s jet technology.

The successful first test of the propulsion unit follows comprehensive testing of the engine, developed and built in collaboration with Lilium’s team of suppliers, including Denso and Honeywell for the e-motor, Aeronamic for the compressor fan, and SKF for the electric motor bearings.

Stephen Vellacott, Lilium’s chief technology officer, said: “Completion of the first engine test is a significant achievement for Lilium, demonstrating once again Lilium’s credentials as a world leader in the development of electric jet propulsion technology. Over the past years, we have invested heavily in the technology and secured extensive IP rights. We now move a step closer to first manned flight and beyond that to the era of commercial electric flight.”

Daniel Wiegand, Lilium co-founder and chief engineer for innovation and future programs, remarked: “For my fellow co-founders and myself, the first test run of the Lilium Jet propulsion unit marks another high point in our journey. It was our shared belief in the radical potential of electric jet technology that brought us together in 2015 and continues to drive Lilium on the way to transforming regional aviation. This latest milestone brings us closer to first manned flight and our goal of commercial entry into service.”

Gearing up for series production

Lilium continues to gear up for initial series production of the Lilium Jet propulsion unit at its propulsion assembly line near Munich.

Aerostructures supplier Aernnova recently completed the first build of the Lilium Jet propulsion mounting system, the structure that houses the propulsion and vectoring systems and forms the rear part of the wings and front aerofoils. Earlier this month, the Spanish industrial engineering and technology group Sener delivered the first set of servo-actuators for the Lilium Jet. The servo-actuators enable the propulsion units to be rotated, allowing the aircraft to transition from vertical flight mode (during take-off and landing) to horizontal flight and vice versa. Propulsion units coming off Lilium’s production line in the coming months will be used for ground testing and integration in the first flight aircraft.

This press release was prepared and distributed by Lilium.

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