Lilium beginning propulsion system assembly
Lilium is starting to put together the Lilium Jet’s electric propulsion system ahead of a first manned flight planned for late 2024.
The assembly is underway at the firm’s propulsion facility next-door to its headquarters in Wessling, Germany. In the first phase, the propulsion system’s rotating parts, including the shaft, magnets and titanium compressor fan are assembled and mated with the associated static components such as the e-motor stator and guide vanes. These are then integrated into the engine.
Yves Yemsi, chief operating officer of Lilium, said: “The start of propulsion assembly represents a significant step towards industrialising the Lilium Jet. In the coming weeks, we will be systematically working towards validating our manufacturing capabilities and preparing to deliver the propulsion units for initial aircraft integration and type-certification testing.”
In the next phase later this year, the electric engines will be integrated into the Lilium Jet’s propulsion mounting system. The e-motor delivers power density of over 100kW from a system weighing just over 4kg.
Klaus Roewe, CEO of Lilium, added: “Thanks to the unique propulsion system and aerodynamic jet architecture, I believe the Lilium Jet will set the benchmark for the eVTOL industry, opening the way for superior performance, unit economics and comfort. 95% of commercial airplanes today use jet engines, which offer high safety in addition to the best cabin experience with low vibration and noise, combined with great payload and range potential.”
The news follows extensive testing of propulsion subsystems delivered by various suppliers: the aircraft e-motor, developed and built-in with the help of Denso and Honeywell; the titanium compressor fan, developed with Aeronamic; and electric motor bearings built in collaboration with SKF.
Daniel Wiegand, Lilium co-founder and chief engineer for Innovation & Future Programs said: “For my fellow co-founders and myself, the start of industrial assembly of the Lilium Jet’s propulsion unit marks a special moment. It was our shared belief in the radical potential of our electric jet technology that formed the nucleus of our company and that has driven Lilium forward ever since. I’m more convinced than ever that our vision of a sustainable new form of high speed and affordable regional transportation will become a commercial reality.”