Lilium, one of the frontrunners in a crowded field trying to be the first to put an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft into service, said that its demonstration aircraft, the Phoenix 2, has completed main wing changeover, an industry first, according to the firm.
The Lilium company, based in Munich, was founded in 2015, and its prototype design, which uses ducted electric motors to generate vertical lift for takeoff and landing, as well as lift from the wings to extend cruise range, is at the heart of the company's quest to develop a sustainable and accessible mode of high-speed regional transportation.
The Phoenix 2 is the "first full-size electric jet aircraft to shift from hover to wing-borne flight," thanks to the main wing transition milestone. "From a flight physics standpoint, completing transition means the airflow traveling over the flaps attaches and becomes smooth, allowing the lift to be created by the wing (as in normal fixed-wing aircraft) rather than the engines (as in the hovering phase)," Lilium noted.
NetJets established a collaboration with Lilium in March, giving the firm the option to buy up to 150 Lilium jets for use in its shared ownership program. The arrangement also includes operational support for Lilium's Florida hub, which is now under construction.
"Throughout the summer, Lilium will continue its Flight Test program, stretching the flight envelope further, including transition of the front canards and high-speed flights," the company stated in a statement. Lilium plans to gain initial type certification in 2025, after which production will begin.