Based outside of Munich, Germany, Lilium announced on June 11 that it had selected London to be “the base for a world-class software team it plans to develop.” Hundreds of high-end software engineering roles will be created in the city over the next five years as the business seeks to make affordable, electric, on-demand air taxis a reality by 2025. Jobs will also be added in their existing hubs in Munich and Zurich. Additionally, Lilium appointed Anja Maassen van den Brink as Chief People Officer (CPO), Luca Benassi as Chief Development Engineer, and Carlos Morgado as VP of Digital Technology. Lilium also received the prestigious “Red Dot: Best of the Best” Design Award in July for its five-seat Lilium Jet concept, which made its first flight on May 4. Designer Mathis Cosson (now 25) said his flying taxi design was inspired by the graceful shape of the manta ray.
Munich-based Lilium unveiled its new five-seater air taxi Lilium Jet on May 16, after the prototype had made its unmanned maiden flight on May 4 at 08:03 am. The Lilium Jet uses small electric fans, which the company calls “jet engines.” According to Lilium’s news release, “The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically, while achieving remarkably efficient horizontal, or cruise, flight. The simplicity of the aircraft design, with no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine not only contributes to the safety and affordability of the aircraft, but it has also allowed the design team to focus their efforts on creating a magical customer experience in the cabin, from panoramic windows to gull-wing doors.” The company noted that, “With a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph) and a range of 300km (186 miles), the Lilium Jet is capable of completing much longer journeys than the majority of its competitors. This is, in part, thanks to the fixed wing design of the aircraft. While drone-based aircraft consume much of their energy keeping an aircraft in the air, the Lilium Jet can rely on the lift generated by the fixed wing to do this, meaning it will require less than ten percent of its maximum 2,000 horsepower during cruise flight. This efficiency, which is comparable to the energy usage of an electric car over the same distance, means the aircraft would not just be capable of connecting suburbs to city centers and airports to main train stations, but would also deliver affordable high-speed connections across entire regions.” The five-seat Lilium Jet follows the successful flight testing of its unmanned two-seat prototype in 2017.
First unmanned flight of the Lilium 5-seater all-electric jet at the Special Airport Oberpfaffenhofen in Munich, Germany.
In early September, Munich-based Lilium announced that it had raised $90M in a Series B funding round. Investors included Chinese tech giant Tencent; private banking and asset management firm LGT; U.K.-based venture capitalist firm Atomico (a Series A investor); and Obvious Ventures. The company flew the unmanned “Eagle” prototype of “the world’s first electric VTOL jet” in April. Lilium said it has raised more than $100M overall, and planned the first manned flight of its fully functional jet next year.
Lilium Jet Lilium GmbH Wessling, Germany www.lilium.com The Lilium Jet is the first “electric jet” VTOL aircraft. The company plans to use the jet for urban mobility as an air taxi. In cruise mode power consumption per km is comparable to an electric car. It produces zero emissions in flight. History Lilium was co-founded in 2015 by Daniel Wiegand, Sebastian Born, Patrick Nathen and Matthias Meiner. Wiegand originally conceived of the basic concept in 2013. The first half-scale demonstrator, “Falcon,” was flown in 2015. Wessling is a municipality located near Munich, Germany. The two-seat “Eagle” prototype completed a series of unmanned test flights in April 2017. It had a total of 36 electric fans: 12 on the upper surface of each wing with tilting flaps and two rows of three fans on each side of the canard, which was designed to be retracted in cruise flight. Prior to Eagle, the team had flown a series of subscale aircraft, and also studied a design where the wings would fold forward, allowing the aircraft to be driven as a car and recharge overnight from a standard 240 V electrical outlet. Following the successful test flights of Eagle, Lillium moved forward with a five-seat version. The canard will not be retractable. It will be easily piloted (requiring a Sport Pilots License) and Lilium’s Flight Envelope Protection System will prevent a pilot from performing maneuvers that would exceed the aircraft’s flight parameters. Each engine is individually shielded so the failure of a single unit cannot affect the adjacent engines. First flight of the fully functional jet is planned for 2019. Present-Day On May 16, 2019, Lilium revealed they had announced its first flight of an untethered and unmanned 5-seater Lilium Jet which took place on May 4, 2019 at the Special Airport Oberpfaffenhofen airport in Munich, Germany. Extensive ground testing took place before its maiden flight. The full-scale prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines which allows for a vertical take-off and landing with an efficient horizontal flight. As of May 2019, Lilium employs more than 300 people. The simplicity of the aircraft design, with no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine not only contributes to the safety and affordability of the aircraft, but it has also allowed the design team to focus their efforts on creating a magical customer experience in the cabin, from panoramic windows to gull-wing doors. With a top speed of 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour) and a range of 300 km (186 miles), the Lilium Jet is capable of completing much longer journeys than the majority of its competitors. This is, in part, thanks to the fixed-wing design of the aircraft. While drone-based aircraft consume much of their energy …
Vertiflite May/June 2019 Opener Names Ben Diachun President Opener, the developer of the BlackFly electric Personal Aerial Vehicle (ePAV) for consumer travel, has appointed a president, Ben Diachun, the company announced on April 2. He will report to Marcus Leng, Opener founder and CEO. Diachun comes from Scaled Composites; Burt Rutan lauded Diachun, stating, “Ben Diachun’s spark of genius enhances any company he joins…. As an engineer, Ben played a key role in the creation of 14 revolutionary experimental aircraft, and as the President of Scaled Composites, he developed a talented team, explored new innovations and ensured our growth.” The Opener BlackFly is a single-seat ultralight eVTOL; the latest model, the BlackFly v3, made its first unmanned flight in October 2017. New Leadership at Terrafugia In February, Terrafugia’s parent company Zhejiang Geely replaced its management team. The company announced on April 8 that Dr. Chao “Charlie” Jing was appointed as the new CEO of Terrafugia. According to the press release, “Mr. Jing is a professional business leader with extensive experience working in international companies in the US, China, Philippines, Singapore, Belgium and Japan. With Mr. Jing as the new CEO and an expanded focus to include near-term market opportunities, the company is poised for commercial success in air mobility.” Jing spent 11 years at Honeywell Aerospace and six years at Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). He has a B.S. in Industrial Management from Nanjing University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado. Jing replaces Chris Jaran, who had been the CEO since July 2017, as part of the Geely acquisition. Co-founder Dr. Carl Dietrich, who was the prior CEO and continued serving as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), left the company in April. In addition, Huaibing Wang was appointed as Terrafugia’s new Chief Financial Officer. Wang has over 20 years of experience in various finance leadership positions in both automotive and industrial businesses. FlightGlobal reported on April 5 that, “Other US posts axed included back office functions, as well as the certification and business development departments and the research and development facility in Petaluma, California. US-based headcount is falling by around two-thirds to roughly 60 employees.” Terrafugia expects to certificate its fixed-wing Transition this year, and is developing a multi-modal TF-2 “lift + push” eVTOL system to transport passengers and cargo. Founded in 1986 by Li Shufu, Geely Holding, headquartered in Hangzhou, China, launched its automotive business in 1997. Its other brands include Geely Auto, Lynk & Co, the London Taxi Company, Volvo, Polestar, Proton and Lotus. Lilium Appoints First CFO Munich-based Lilium announced on April 17 that Christopher Delbrück will join Lilium as its first Chief Financial Officer (CFO) later this year. Delbrück was previously an executive with E.ON, which runs one of the world’s largest …
Listed below are 70+ Vertical Flight Society (VFS) corporate members which work in all aspects of eVTOL aircraft development (aircraft, software, engines, simulations, universities, etc.). Our corporate members have an unprecedented opportunity to network and engage with all levels of the rotorcraft technical community, including industry, academia and government. More than 100 VTOL companies and organizations have joined the Vertical Flight Society (VFS). Please go to www.vtol.org/corporate to be part of the world’s largest organization supporting vertical flight technology. Aircraft Developers A³ by Airbus 225 W Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113 www.vahana.aero Aircraft: Vahana Airbus Helicopters F-13725 Marignane Cedex, Aéroport International Marseille-Provence, France www.airbus.com Aircraft: Airbus CityAirbus, Pop.Up Next Airspace Experience Technologies, LLC 11499 Conner Street, Detroit, Michigan 48213 USA www.asx.us Aircraft: AirspaceX MOBi Aurora Flight Sciences 9950 Wakeman Drive, Manassas, Virginia 20110 USA www.aurora.aero Aircraft: Aurora eVTOL AutoflightX GmbH Friedrichshafener Str. 1, Gilching 82205 Germany www.autoflightx.com Aircraft: AutoFlightX BAT600 Bartini, Inc. 19421 Phil Lane, Cupertino, California 95014 USA www.bartini.aero Aircraft: Bartini Flying Car Bell 3255 Bell Flight Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76118 USA www.bellflight.com Aircraft: Bell Nexus Beta Technologies, Inc. 265 Aviation Ave, South Burlington, Vermont 05403 USA www.beta.team Aircraft: Ava XC Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC 2730 Commerce Street, Suite 600, Wichita Falls, Texas 76301 USA www.cartercopters.com Aircraft: Carter Aviation Air Taxi Kitty Hawk Corporation 2700 Broderick Way, Mountain View, California 94043 USA www.kittyhawk.aero Aircraft: Kitty Hawk Cora, Kitty Hawk Flyer Jaunt Air Mobility, LLC www.jauntairmobility.com Aircraft: Jaunt Joby Aviation 340 Woodpecker Ridge, Santa Cruz, California 95060 USA www.jobyaviation.com Aircraft: Joby S4 Karem Aircraft, Inc. 1 Capital Drive, Lake Forest, California 92630 USA www.karemaircraft.com Aircraft: Karem Butterfly Leonardo Helicopters 3050 Red Lion Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19114 USA www.leonardocompany.com Aircraft: AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) * Formerly AgustaWestland. LIFT Aircraft Inc. 3402 Mount Bonnell Road, Austin, Texas 78731 USA www.liftaircraft.com Aircraft: Hexa Lilium GmbH Gilching, Bavaria 82205 Germany www.lilium.com Aircraft: Lilium Jet Neoptera Aero Ltd 24 Rock Lane, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS348PF United Kingdom neoptera.aero Aircraft: Neoptera eOpter NFT Inc. 4653 Table Mountain Drive, Golden, Colorado 80403 USA www.askafly.com Aircraft: NFT ASKA eVTOL Piasecki Aircraft Corporation Second Street West, PO Box 360, Essington, Pennsylvania 19029-0360 USA www.piasecki.com Aircraft: Piasecki eVTOL Pipistrel Vertical Solutions d.o.o. Vipavska cesta 2, Ajdovscina 5270 Slovenia www.pipistrel.si Aircraft: Pipistrel Sabrewing Aircraft Company, Inc. 275 Durley Avenue, Unit H-3, Hangar 2, Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, California 93010 USA www.sabrewingaircraft.com Aircraft: Sabrewing Draco-2 UAS Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company 6900 Main Street, Stratford, Connecticut 06601 USA www.lockheedmartin.com Aircraft: Sikorsky VERT Skyworks Global 9980 South 300 West, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84070 USA www.skyworks-global.com Terrafugia, Inc. 23 Rainin Road, Woburn, Massachusetts 01801 USA www.terrafugia.com Aircraft: Terrafugia TF-X Transcend Air Corporation 779 West Street, Carlisle, Massachusetts 01741 USA www.transcend.aero Aircraft: Vy400 Uber 1455 Market Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, California …
BAT600 (defunct) AutoFlightX GmbH Gilching, Germany www.autoflightx.com AutoFlightX was founded in February of 2018 by Yu Tian, creator of Chinese drone company Yuneec International. The company hopes to have a flying prototype by the end of 2018. The BAT600 was designed by Yuneec in 2017, so it is unsure if AutoFlightX is developing this design or another. The BAT600 can either be ordered as completely battery powered or as hybrid electric. The aircraft has two forward and two rear coaxial positions for eight lifting propellers, as well as one pusher propeller for flight mode as well as a fixed wing. On July 17, 2018, it was announced that the company would join Volocopter, Lilium, and Quantum Systems at the new Oberpfaffenhofen eVTOL test facility. As of April 2019, the AutoFlightX website does not mention the BAT600 aircraft and was probably the first or at least, a past design concept which is now defunct. The aircraft that replaced the BAT600 concept design is the V600 prototype. Specifications: Passengers 2 Flight Time 2 hours electric 5 hours hybrid Take-off Weight 600 kg 1322.77 lbs Maximum Speed 100 k/h 62.14 mph Resources: Search eVTOL news posts Website: AutoFlightX Vertiflite Article: German Ultralight VTOL Innovations, Ian Frain, September/October 2016 Article: Per Flugtaxi an die Weltspitze, OVB Online, July 17, 2018 Tags: AutoFlightX, Lift + Cruise, Initial Design, 2 Passengers, Electric/Batteries, Electric Hybrid, Autonomous,
Listed below are Vertical Flight Society (VFS) corporate members which have developed or are developing eVTOL aircraft. Our corporate members have an unprecedented opportunity to network and engage with all levels of the rotorcraft technical community, including industry, academia and government. More than 100 VTOL companies and organizations have joined the Vertical Flight Society. Please go to www.vtol.org/corporate to be part of the world’s largest organization supporting vertical flight technology. A³ Vahana AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Airbus CityAirbus AirspaceX MOBi Aurora eVTOL Aurora LightningStrike (defunct) AutoFlightX BAT600 (defunct) AutoFlightX V600 Bartini Flying Car Bell Air Taxi Bell Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) Beta Technologies Ava XC Boeing Cargo Aerial Vehicle Carter Air Taxi Jaunt Air Mobility Joby Lotus (defunct) Joby S2 (defunct) Joby S4 Karem Butterfly Kitty Hawk Cora Kitty Hawk Flyer Kitty Hawk Flyer (defunct prototype) LIFT Hexa Lilium Jet Neoptera eOpter NFT AKSA Piasecki Air Scout Piasecki eVTOL Piasecki PA-890 Pipistrel (unnamed) Pop.Up Next Rolls-Royce EVTOL Sabrewing Draco-2 UAS Sabrewing RHAEGAL UAS Sikorsky Firefly (defunct) Sikorsky VERT Terrafugia TF-2 Lift + Push Terrafugia TF-2 Tiltrotor Terrafugia TF-X Transcend Air Vy 400 Urban Aeronautics CityHawk Vertical Aerospace Volocopter 2X Volocopter VC1/VC2 (defunct prototypes) Volocopter VC200 XTI Aircraft TriFan 600 Zee Aero Z-P2 Zenith Altitude EOPA Don’t see your company on this list? Join as a corporate member!
Autonomous All eVTOL aircraft that can operate without a pilot Aergility ATLIS AeroMobil 5.0 AgustaWestland Project Zero (defunct) Airbus CityAirbus AirisOne AirspaceX MOBi Aston Martin Volante Astro AA360 (Passenger Drone) Aurora eVTOL Aurora LightningStrike (defunct) AutoFlightX BAT600 Autonomous Flight Y6S Axix SkyRider SuvA Bartini Flying Car Bell Air Taxi Boeing Cargo Aerial Vehicle Cartivator SkyDrive Davinci ZeroG DeLorean Aerospace DR-7 Digi Robotics DroFire Digi Robotics Droxi Dufour aEro 2 EHang 184 EHang 216 EVA X01 Hoversurf Drone Taxi R-1 Hoversurf Formula Jetoptera J2000 Jetpack Aviation Joby Aviation Lotus (defunct) Joby Aviation S2 (defunct) KARI Optionally Piloted PAV Kenyan Passenger Drone Kitty Hawk Cora LIFT Hexa Lilium Jet Neoptera eOpter PAV-X PAV-X Ultralight PFV Personal Flying Device Piasecki eVTOL Pipistrel (unnamed) Pop.Up Next PteroDynamics Transwing Rolls-Royce EVTOL Sabrewing Draco-2 UAS Samad Starling Jet Sikorsky VERT SKYLYS Aircraft AO VerdeGo Aero PAT200 Vertical Aerospace Vertiia Vimana AAV Vision VTOL Volerian Volocopter 2X Volocopter VC200 VRCO NeoXCraft VTOL Aviation Abhiyaan Zee Aero Z-P2 Zenith Altitude EOPA View all pages with the tag “Autonomous”