Large-Scale Lilium Jet Model Enters Wind Tunnel With 30 Schübeler Technologies Custom Electric Ducted Fans
As seen on the Aviation Week Network, May 4, 2023
Written by Graham Warwick
The 40%-scale Lilium Jet wind tunnel model has powered electric ducted fans from Schuebeler Technologies
Lilium has begun wind tunnel testing of a large-scale powered model of its Lilium Jet to validate performance predictions for the full-scale conforming prototype now under construction.
The 40%-scale model of the 45.6-ft.-span Lilium Jet is being tested at the German-Dutch Wind Tunnels (DNW) facility in Markenesse, Netherlands. The Large Low-Speed Facility at DNW is the largest wind tunnel in Europe, with a text section of 9.5 x 9.5 m (31 x 31 ft.).
Testing will cover the vectored-thrust electric-vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) aircraft’s complete flight envelope from hover to cruise, Lilium says, and generate an aerodynamic database to validate the flight physics of the full-scale aircraft, which is scheduled to enter final assembly this year and fly in 2024.
The size of the DNW has allowed the company to build a large model with a low-scaling factor so that the data generated will be representative of the full-size Lilium Jet. Thirty scaled electric ducted fans are mounted on remotely actuated flaps on the aft wing and canard foreplane.
The model was built by Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe (TGR-E), a subsidiary of Toyota with an engineering center in Cologne, Germany. It is supported by research and development engineering services provider IBK-Innovation. Scaled engines were built by German electric ducted fan producer Schuebeler Technologies.
A globally recognized expert in electric propulsion systems, Schübeler Technologies offers off-the-shelf electric ducted fans and custom-made propulsion solutions to a wide variety of customers, ranging from the passionate hobbyist to innovative companies pursuing groundbreaking endeavors in the aeronautics and mobility fields.
The model is similar in size to Lilium’s Phoenix 2 technology demonstrator now undergoing flight testing in Spain. Based on an earlier five-seat design, the Phoenix 2 is about half scale to the seven-seat Lilium Jet. At the beginning of March, the demonstrator achieved its 136 kt. (155 mph) maximum speed.
Lilium (NASDAQ: LILM) is creating a sustainable and accessible mode of high-speed, regional transportation for people and goods. Using the Lilium Jet, an all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet, offering leading capacity, low noise, and high performance with zero operating emissions, Lilium is accelerating the decarbonization of air travel. Working with aerospace, technology, and infrastructure leaders, and with planned launch networks announced in Germany, the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom, Lilium’s 800+ strong team includes approximately 450 aerospace engineers and a leadership team responsible for delivering some of the most successful aircraft in aviation history. Founded in 2015, Lilium’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are in Munich, Germany, with teams based across Europe and the U.S. To learn more, visit www.lilium.com.
Summary: Lilium has started wind tunnel testing a 40%-scale model of its Lilium Jet at the German-Dutch Wind Tunnels (DNW) facility in the Netherlands. The testing will cover the eVTOL aircraft’s entire flight envelope, from hover to cruise, and will produce an aerodynamic database to validate the flight physics of the full-scale Lilium Jet, which is due to enter final assembly this year and fly in 2024. The model was built by Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe and supported by research and development engineering services provider IBK-Innovation, while the scaled engines were built by German electric ducted fan manufacturer Schuebeler Technologies.