December 21st, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
The Munich-based aviation startup Lilium Jet has been busy and recently released a video of its successful 3-minute test flight on October 1st. Lilium tested controllability with banked turns in transition flight needed before certification and commercialization.
The Lilium Jet achieved a figure-eight flight showing a left turn at 20° AoB (Angle of Bank) for approximately 90° heading change, according to the company. It continued to an AoB of 30° before banking right for landing.
The Lilium Jet climbed 300 ft/minute and accelerated to a modest 35 kt (40+ MPH, ~ 65 KPH). It descended at the same rate, 300 ft/mn and newgotiate an repositioning left AoB of 18 degrees increased to 20 before finally landing vertically. This might seem like modest performance, but it shows Lilium is able to transition from banking to positioning itself for a safe landing.[embedded content]
Lilium says it will next test flights of the aircraft at higher speeds, ultimately reaching the 100 km/h (60+ mph, 54 kt) milestone. Lilium’s second testing phase will focus on completing a full transition to wing-borne flight. This is important, as the company will test moving the flaps through to 0° position. Lilium says this is particularly challenging, as it means passing through a zone where the airflow will detach and reattach to the control surfaces.
Lilium is developing what it calls the “world’s five-seater, all-electric, vertical take-off and landing jet,” along with its on-demand air mobility service. It reached this milestone 6 months after starting its flight test campaign. The company also announced recently that it achieved 300 km (186 miles) in one hour on a single charge at speeds exceeding 100 km/h. It also announced the completion of its first dedicated manufacturing facility.
Lilium has much to celebrate, founded only 4 years ago with the idea of creating an autonomous air taxi that can take off vertically and land anywhere.
Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, said: “It’s been thrilling to watch the Lilium Jet progress so rapidly and to see our first flying taxi manufacturing facility. We are taking tangible and concrete steps towards making our vision of regional air mobility a reality and we’re doing it on time. We believe that regional air mobility has the potential to be a remarkable force for good in society and we can’t wait for what comes next.”
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