November 16, 2023
The developer of an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jet is selling 10 of its air taxi jets to a company for sales in the Middle East.
Lilium announced that ArcosJet DMCC is going to purchase 10 of its electric jets and become the exclusive dealer for its private jets in the region.
Deliveries of the electric aerial vehicles (EAV) are expected to start in 2026 with the jets delivered to customers with a maintenance program, pilot training and two charging stations.
“Today we are pleased to announce the details of our purchase of Lilium Pioneer Edition Jets and are confident that the aircraft will quickly find buyers and lay the foundations for the development of sustainable air transport in the Middle East. Together with Lilium,” said Mikhail Alenkin, ArcosJet founder and CEO. “ArcosJet offers its customers best-in-class innovations and developments for the future of transport. We see this as the most profitable investment in the high-tech and sustainable future of aviation, as well as in the development of regional air mobility.”
Lilium also signed an agreement with Denso for technical assistance in optimizing the production of the Lilium jet electric engine.
Denso specializes in powertrain electrification and plans to support Lilium in developing equipment and tooling for automation for high-volume production of jet engines and subsystems.
Lilium and Michelin recently partnered for the design, serial production and support of tires for the Lilium EAV.
The two companies started working together more than a year ago to develop and produce custom tires for the Lilium electric jet.
The tires had to be custom designed for the safety weight and reliability requirements for the Lilium jet. The first tires are expected to be delivered this month.
Lilium recently started assembly of its electric propulsion system on a path to manned flights in 2024.
The Lilium eVTOL craft is a jet, unlike most EAVs.
The company intends for its seven-seater vehicles to be used as a regional air mobility service, connecting cities and towns 25 to 125 miles apart at speeds of up to 185 mph.
The aircraft features forward canards (small wings near the front) along with main wings and a distributed propulsion system with fixed landing gear without hydraulics.
During takeoff, the plane would use its 36 electric ducted fans to hover for up to 25 seconds and 20 seconds during the landing phase, according to the company. Most of the flight time would be in the cruise stage with a relatively short takeoff and landing time.
The company estimates the range of the craft at 150 miles upon entry into service in 2024.
The fuselage for the Lilium jet was developed by Aciturri in Spain, with delivery to Lilium facilities in Germany later this year.
Aciturri, also a Lilium investor, has designed and manufactured airframe components for Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.
Lilium recently secured $192 million in financing in addition to a coming public offering. It received funding from different investors including board members and Tencent Holdings, one of its initial backers.
The company, founded in 2015, has manufacturing facilities in Munich, Germany, with teams in the U.S. and Europe.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued Lilium a certificate validation of its Jet, having previously obtained airworthiness authority from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
Lilium is among a small number of companies seeking certification of its EAVs for both the U.S. and Europe.
The company is not alone in the race for new air transportation services, including flying cars, personal air vehicles, both ultralights, which do not require a pilot license, and certified, which require a license.
One eVTOL company, Joby Aviation, recently announced the planned building of a facility in Dayton, Ohio, to deliver up to 500 eVTOL vehicles a year.
The new manufacturing facility is the foundation for a planned aerial ride sharing network.
Joby has partnerships with Uber and Delta Air Lines.
Joby recently flew one of its EAVs over New York City where a heliport is being converted for such vehicles to take off and land.
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