Lilium releases new footage of air taxi as it completes early flight testing and builds first manufacturing facility

Lilium

MUNICH 22 October 2019: Lilium, the Munich-based startup developing a revolutionary on-demand air mobility service, has today released new footage of its all-electric Lilium Jet as it celebrates completing its first phase of flight testing, a milestone it has reached less than six months since starting its flight test campaign.

The Lilium Jet, the world’s first five-seater, all-electric, vertical take-off and landing jet, was revealed to the world in May 2019 and since then has been put through its paces at an airfield in southern Germany. The emissions-free aircraft, which will be able to complete journeys of up to 300 km in one hour on a single charge, has now been flown at speeds exceeding 100 km/h, in increasingly complex maneuvers.

The new footage reveals, for the first time, the aircraft transitioning from vertical flight to level flight. This signature maneuver, first completed just weeks after the aircraft’s maiden flight, is one of aerospace’s greatest challenges and is what gives the Lilium Jet its significant range advantage, with its two sets of wings contributing to much higher levels of efficiency than in aircraft lifted solely by rotors.

With a range of 300 km, the Lilium Jet will be capable of completing much longer journeys than the vast majority of its competitors, allowing it to connect entire regions rather than just making short trips across a single city.

The release of the footage came as the company also celebrated the completion of its first dedicated manufacturing facility, an important step towards preparing the company for serial production of the Lilium Jet.

The first manufacturing facility, a 3,000 square meter space located at the company’s headquarters, will soon be complemented by a second, much larger, facility which is already under construction at the same site. Combined, they will support Lilium’s aim of producing hundreds of aircraft a year by the time commercial services begin in 2025.

Lilium also announced an addition to its Senior Management Team, with Airbus veteran Yves Yemsi joining the team as Chief Program Officer, having worked as Head of Program Quality for the highly successful Airbus A350 aircraft.

Commenting on these milestones, 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.”

Lilium

The Lilium Jet and flight testing

The Lilium Jet prototype first took to the skies at 08.03 local time on 4th May 2019. Powered by 36 all-electric jet engines, the aircraft has zero operating emissions and requires less than 10% of its maximum 2000 horsepower during horizontal cruise flight thanks to the lift generated by having two sets of wings.

Since its maiden flight, which featured a simple vertical take-off and landing, the aircraft has been undertaking increasingly complex maneuvers and longer flights. Having successfully completed more than 100 different ground and flight tests, the first phase of testing culminated with a flight that saw the aircraft travel at speeds exceeding 100 km/h.

During the first phase of testing, the aircraft also successfully completed a range of safety tests, including engine failures and flap failures, as well as fuse-blow-tests on the ground and in the air.

The aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, will now move on to its second phase of testing which will look specifically at how it performs at high speeds.

With a top speed of 300 km/h the Lilium Jet is expected to shortly become the fastest all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the world.

Commenting on the successful completion of the first phase of flight testing, Leandro Bigarella, Head of Flight Test, said: “The Lilium Jet continues to meet our expectations, delivering excellent in-flight performance and remarkably smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

“That said, we take a relentless approach to improvement and, like any good testing program, we have had the chance to implement a number of refinements to the aircraft along the way.

“We are now moving into a critical stage of testing as we prepare for high speed operations and eventual certification by the relevant authorities.”

 

New production facilities

Speaking about the new production facilities at the company’s headquarters in southern Germany, Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, said: “Our ambition is to develop a world-class production facility here that will allow us to build critical parts ourselves and then deliver fully-assembled aircraft at the scale of the automotive sector but at the extremely high quality levels required in the aerospace sector.

“Having considered many locations to produce our first Lilium Jets, we felt our location in the heart of Europe was best suited to our needs, given the strength of the local aerospace supply chain.

“Having our production facility co-locate with our headquarters also makes sense at this point in our development, allowing us to maintain the rapid pace at which we are developing the Lilium Jet, from innovation through to engineering and manufacturing.”

Today, Lilium employs more than 350 people at its base in Munich, with more than 150 roles currently available across a range of disciplines. The new production facilities are expected to create up to 500 new jobs between now and 2025.

 

Yves Yemsi hired to lead aircraft program

In addition to putting in place the physical infrastructure required to deliver serial production, Lilium has also recently hired industry veteran Yves Yemsi to oversee the Lilium Jet aircraft program. As Chief Program Officer, Yves will also lead strategic procurement activities for the company.

Over the past 15 years Yves has performed a wide range of roles at Airbus, most recently as a Senior Vice President, leading Procurement for their Defence and Space division. Prior to this he was the Head of Program Quality for the highly successful Airbus A350 aircraft, which has seen industry-leading levels of reliability.

Yves’ appointment complements the existing production team at Lilium, led by Chief Manufacturing Officer, Dirk Gebser, who also joined Lilium from Airbus, having led the assembly of the A380 and A320 aircraft.

The hiring of this role completes Lilium’s Senior Management Team, following the arrival of Christopher Delbrück, formerly Chief Financial Officer at Uniper, as CFO earlier this year.

Commenting on his appointment, Yves Yemsi, Chief Program Officer, said: “I’m extremely excited to be joining another iconic aerospace company and look forward to playing my part in revolutionizing this industry. In my time at Airbus I contributed to developing the most stringent quality standards for a brand new aircraft and I look forward to doing the same at Lilium.”

Source: Lilium

Volocopter air taxi flies over Singapore’s Marina Bay

VTOL Volocopter

Singapore, 22 October 2019 – Volocopter, the pioneer in Urban Air Mobility (UAM), successfully completed its first manned flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay today. This was the last trial of a demanding test series to verify and validate the ability of Volocopter air taxis to fly over the area. Government authorities including the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the Economic Development Board (EDB) supported Volocopter in this testing phase and will continue to do so in the future. This flight kicks-off Volocopter’s efforts to bring commercial air taxi services to Singapore.

“A 2X model of the company’s test series flown by a pilot onboard was used. The flight covered a distance of approximately 1.5 km and lasted for two minutes at an average cruising height of 40 m. 

“The flight today in Singapore was the most advanced Volocopter flight yet and the piloted flight was as stable as ever. At the same time, we are showcasing a prototype of our full-scale VoloPort Infrastructure, allowing for a realistic demonstration of air taxi boarding and maintenance services. Never before have people been this close to experiencing what Urban Air Mobility in the city of tomorrow will feel like,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.

Leading up to the flight, the aircraft had undergone intensive testing in Germany for several months. Following which, a rigorous flight test program to verify the Volocopter 2X aircraft performance under local environment was conducted at Seletar Airport in accordance with CAAS.

“Since late 2018, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has been working with Volocopter to facilitate this flight in Singapore. The Volocopter team went through a series of stringent evaluations to ensure that all the necessary safety requirements were met before the flight was allowed to take place. By working closely with companies such as Volocopter, we hope to facilitate innovations for beneficial uses whilst ensuring aviation and public safety,” said Mr. Ho Yuen Sang, Director (Aviation Industry) from CAAS.

“Volocopter’s decision to testbed its innovative air taxi in Singapore is testament to the opportunities and environment that Singapore provides. The Singapore Economic Development Board hopes to be an enabling partner for companies developing new mobility technologies such as autonomous vehicles and urban aerial mobility. We are happy to support Volocopter in their development plans and hope that this is a first step towards the creation of more exciting business and job opportunities in Singapore,” said Mr. Tan Kong Hwee, Assistant Managing Director, EDB.

At the ITSWC, Volocopter and their partner Skyports built the first VoloPort prototype on the floating dock in Marina Bay. VoloPorts are the only physical infrastructure required for air taxis and they are one important step to commencing operations in cities. They are designed to provide passengers with a seamless air taxi experience that is safe, secure, and integrated into existing infrastructure.

Volocopter opened an office in Singapore in January 2019 and has started to build up a local team to support South East Asia expansion plans. The company has recently presented their VoloCity – the next generation eVTOL air taxi which is designed to comply with EASA requirements. With their recently announced Series C funding round the company will bring the VoloCity to commercial certification.

About Volocopter GmbH:

Volocopter is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services to megacities worldwide. With the VoloCity, the company is developing the first fully electric “eVTOL” aircraft in certification to safely and quietly transport passengers within cities. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’.

In 2011, Volocopter performed the first-ever manned flight of a purely electric multicopter and has since showcased numerous public flights with its full-scale aircraft. The most notable have been the flight at the CES 2018 in Las Vegas and the world’s first autonomous eVTOL flight in Dubai 2017.

Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter has 150 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore. The company is managed by CEO Florian Reuter, CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens, and CFO Rene Griemens, and has raised a total of 85 million euro in equity. Volocopters‘s investors include Daimler, Geely, Intel Capital, BtoV, and Manta Ray Ventures. Find out more at: www.volocopter.com

Source: Volocopter

SAS JOINS NORDIC INITIATIVE FOR ELECTRIC AVIATION

SAS joins Nordic initiative for electric aviation

A Nordic initiative to drive the development of electric aircraft is now being launched. Funded by Nordic Innovation (an organization under the Nordic Council of Ministers), a platform is created where SAS together with other Nordic players gather.

“We will be a Nordic network that works with both infrastructure, industry issues and new business models,” says Maria Fiskerud, project manager for The Nordic Network for Electric Aviation (NEA).

The NEA network will organize workshops and other events to build knowledge and cooperation in the Nordic countries. At present, the network has eleven members (Air Greenland, Avinor, Braathens Regional Airlines, El-fly AS, Finnair, Heart Aerospace, Iceland Air, NISA (Nordic Innovation Sustainable Aviation), RISE, SAS and Swedavia).

“The transition to sustainable air travel is existential to us and the aviation industry. Therefore, it is vital to exchange knowledge with other stakeholders to gain speed in the development of electric aircraft for commercial use. We have high ambitions for our sustainability work and we already collaborate with Airbus, among others, regarding the electrification of aviation,” says Lars Andersen Resare, Head of Environment and CSR at SAS.

A Nordic initiative to drive the development of electric aircraft is now being launched. Funded by Nordic Innovation (an organization under the Nordic Council of Ministers), a platform is created where SAS together with other Nordic players gather.

There are four focus areas with clear objectives for driving the growth of electric aircraft: to Standardize electric air infrastructure in the Nordic countries, to Develop business models for regional point-to-point connectivity between Nordic countries, to Develop aircraft technology for Nordic weather conditions, and to Create a platform for European and global collaborations.

Source: SAS

Quantum Signs for 26 Electric Airplanes from Bye Aerospace

electric airplanes

DENVER, Col. – August 21, 2019 – Bye Aerospace announced that Quantum Air has signed a purchase deposit agreement for 22 of its all-electric four-seat eFlyer 4s and 2 two-seat eFlyer 2 airplanes. The company also signed a comprehensive agreement that includes two future advanced aircraft under development from Bye Aerospace.

George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, welcomed Los Angeles-based Quantum Air to the growing list of Bye Aerospace customers. “One of Quantum Air’s goals is to disrupt aviation, providing more accessible, cost-efficient, high speed air transportation solutions — including FAA Part 135 on-demand air taxi travel— to help alleviate the noise and CO2 emissions challenges that accompany traditional internal combustion aircraft,” he said.

Quantum’s new fleet of eFlyers cements its status as the first and leading air taxi service in Los Angeles. “With the arrival of electric aircraft, we are entering a new Golden Age in aviation,” said Tony Thompson, Quantum CEO. “Since the dawn of flight, point to point air travel has been a luxury available only to a privileged few. Quantum’s groundbreaking air taxi service will finally make point to point air travel widely available.”

“The future has arrived,” added Scott Akina, Quantum’s Vice President and Chief Pilot. “By electrifying aviation, Quantum will ignite urban and regional mobility. Electric aircraft are safer, quieter, and more efficient than legacy aircraft, and they are more fun, more comfortable, and do not pollute.”

In addition, Bye will join Quantum’s board of advisers. According to Thompson: “With George Bye on our board of advisers, Quantum will tightly integrate with Bye Aerospace, producing a superior flight experience for our customers.”

electric airplanes

Bye Aerospace is developing the FAA FAR 23-certified family of eFlyer general aviation aircraft, starting with the eFlyer 2, for the flight training mission. All of Bye Aerospace’s current and future families of aircraft, including the eFlyer 2 and the eFlyer 4, feature exemplary engineering, research, and electric aircraft solutions producing no CO2, and are designed to answer compelling market needs. These include significantly lower operating costs, zero emissions, and decreased noise.

Source: Bye Aerospace

Embraer advances in the development of the demonstrator aircraft with electric propulsion technology

sustainable aviation

São José dos Campos-SP, August 16 2019

Electric propulsion technology

Embraer unveiled today, on the eve of its 50th anniversary, images of the demonstrator aircraft with 100% electric propulsion technology, which is currently under development. The prototype has a special paint scheme and is ready to receive systems and components.

The aircraft’s electric motor and controller are being manufactured by WEG at the company’s headquarters in Jaraguá do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil, as part of the scientific and technological cooperation agreement for jointly development of electrification technologies.

Advances on the project include the partnership with Parker Aerospace that will be responsible to supply the cooling system for the demonstrator aircraft. On the forthcoming months, the companies’ technical teams will continue to test the systems in the labs preparing the integration in the demonstrator aircraft for testing under real operating conditions. The first flight of the prototype is scheduled for 2020.

About the technological cooperation The proposed scientific development program of aeronautical electrification, formalized through the cooperation between Embraer and WEG announced in May 2019, constitutes an effective and efficient instrument for experimentation and maturation of the technologies before they are applied in future products.

The partnership, in the context of pre-competitive research and development, seeks to accelerate the knowledge of the necessary technologies to increase the energy efficiency of an aircraft, considering the use and integration of electric motors into innovative propulsion systems. A small single-engine aircraft, based on the EMB-203 Ipanema, will be used as test bed, carrying out the initial evaluation of the electrification technology.

sustainable aviation

The electrification process is part of a series of efforts carried out by Embraer and the aeronautical industry aimed at ensuring the commitment with the environmental sustainability, as already done with biofuels to reduce carbon emissions. By establishing strategic partnerships through more agile cooperation mechanisms, Embraer is stimulating knowledge networks to allow a significant increase in Brazil’s competitiveness and the construction of a sustainable future.

Source: Embraer

Harbour Air and magniX Partner to Build World’s First All-Electric Airline

IASA - Sustainable Aviation

Aviation Leaders Set to Transform Seaplanes into ePlanes — a Zero-emission Aircraft for the Future

REDMOND, WA and VANCOUVER, B.C. – March 26, 2019 – magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, and Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline, today announced a partnership to transform Harbour Air seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet powered by the magni500, a 750 horsepower (HP) all-electric motor.

Operating 12 routes between hubs like Seattle and Vancouver and across the pristine natural wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, Harbour Air welcomes more than 500,000 passengers on 30,000 commercial flights each year. Through this partnership, both companies are furthering the vision to someday connect communities with clean, efficient and affordable electric air travel.

“Harbour Air first demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first fully carbon-neutral airline in North America in 2007, through the purchase of carbon offsets,” said Greg McDougall, founder and CEO of Harbour Air Seaplanes. “Through our commitment to making a positive impact on people’s lives, the communities where we operate and the environment, we are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first commercial aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion. We are excited to bring commercial electric aviation to the Pacific Northwest, turning our seaplanes into ePlanes.”

The aviation industry currently contributes 12 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions and 4.9 percent globally, all while providing few low-cost, fuel-efficient options for passenger flights under 1,000 miles. By modifying existing Harbour Air planes with innovative, all-electric magniX propulsion systems, the partnership will create the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. A Harbour Air ePlane will have zero reliance on fossil fuels and produce zero emissions – a significant step forward in the innovation and advancement of the airline industry.

“In 2018, 75 percent of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles or less in range. With magniX’s new propulsion systems coupled with emerging battery capabilities, we see tremendous potential for electric aviation to transform this heavily trafficked ‘middle mile’ range,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “We’re excited to partner with Harbour Air, a forward thinking, like-minded company that is dedicated to bringing environmentally conscious, cost effective air-transport solutions to the West Coast of North America. This partnership will set the standard for the future of commercial aviation operators.”

IASA - Sustainable Aviation

The first aircraft to be converted will be the DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver, a six-passenger commercial aircraft used across Harbour Air’s route network. Harbour Air and magniX expect to conduct first flight tests of the all-electric aircraft in late 2019.

This partnership follows significant milestones for both companies, including the successful testing of magniX’s 350 HP all-electric motor and the addition of a Vancouver to Seattle route in Harbour Air’s destination roster.

Source: Harbour Air

Bringing together international expertise on jet biofuel and electric aircraft

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Press Release   •   Mar 21, 2018 12:18 GMT

electric aircraft

On Thursday Avinor, the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries and Zero are organizing the conference “Emission-free aviation in 2040?”

“Aviation is of key importance for Norway and the industry must take its share of responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable jet biofuel will play an important role and we are facing the electrification of aviation. We want to bring together the communities working on these issues, with an aim of sharing expertise and insights for the road forward,” says CEO of Avinor, Dag Falk-Petersen.

Must develop the market for jet biofuel
Studies show that 30 per cent of all aviation fuel at Avinor’s airports can become sustainable by 2030. The fuel can be produced from forestry waste and pulpwood from Norwegian forests. At Avinor Oslo airport and Bergen Airport, Flesland, jet biofuel is available, but it is difficult to source enough.

In 2016 1.25 million litres of sustainable jet biofuel were uplifted in Norway. This corresponded to 0.1 per cent of all jet fuel sold in Norway that year. In August 2017 the scheme was also extended to include Flesland. However, there was very limited availability of jet biofuel on the market in 2017, resulting in the drop in of only 125,000 litres of jet biofuel during the year in total for the two airports.

“Currently very little sustainable jet biofuel is produced globally, and what little there is has a price that is not competitive. To achieve the target of a 30 per cent drop in and corresponding emission reductions, there will therefore be a need for public instruments,” says Torbjørn Lothe, Managing Director of the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries (NHO Luftfart).

Electric aircraft are on the way
There is considerable interest in and a good deal of activity surrounding the development of electric aircraft. A number of stakeholders, including Boeing, Airbus, Siemens, Rolls Royce, and NASA, are working with and can see the commercial potential of electric and hybrid-electric aircraft. In Norway, Avinor is playing an active role in these efforts. Together with the Norwegian Association of Air Sports (NLF), Avinor has established a long-term project for the introduction of electric aircraft in Norwegian aviation. The project is supported by the government, and the project partners are Widerøe, SAS, and the climate foundation ZERO.

“Just a short time ago electric aircraft were unimaginable. Now a number of major players are claiming that in only a few years they will be able to provide aircraft with electric solutions for domestic scheduled traffic in Norway. In order to bring up the volume of emission reductions from aviation, we also need to see a quick phasing in of sustainable jet biofuel. This will allow Norway to lead the way and show how we can realign aviation,” says Marius Holm, head of ZERO.

Detailed programme and registration here: https://avinor.no/en/corporate/emission-free-aviation-in-2040/

Source: Avinor