Lilium reports successful first propulsion unit tests


Lilium has completed the first series of tests of its electric jet propulsion unit. 

Testing of the propulsion unit, comprising two engines within a propulsion mounting system, was carried out at Lilium’s propulsion unit test bed at the firm’s headquarters near Munich. The electric engines were taken up to maximum thrust on the test bench, demonstrating an “expected level” of performance and reliability, said Lilium. 

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.” 

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.

Daniel Wiegand, Lilium co-founder and chief engineer for Innovation & Future Programs, said: “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.” 

Lilium is readying for initial series production of its aircraft propulsion unit at its dedicated assembly line near Munich. Aerostructures supplier Aernnova recently completed the first build of the Lilium Jet propulsion mounting system. Earlier this month, Spanish industrial engineering and technology group Sener delivered the first set of servo-actuators for Lilium’s aircraft. 

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.