German aerospace startup Lilium has partnered with business aircraft operator Luxaviation to provide commercial operations of its seven-seater eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft in Europe from 2024.
Aviation Week reports that under the terms of the contract, Luxaviation will take responsibility for securing necessary regulatory approvals and managing pilots, who will train following an EASA-approved type rating concept developed by Lilium partner Lufthansa Aviation Training.
Lilium has said that it chose the Luxembourg-based group due to its extensive experience in operating business jets and helicopters.
Luxaviation manages hundreds of aircraft under 10 air operator certificates (AOCs) across Europe, giving it operational flexibility. The company was the first to secure the new EASA AOC approval for a business jet operation, which is valid across all 27 EU member states.
The new Lilium Jet has 36 tilting ducted fans installed in its wing and canard, and on a single charge can reach speeds of up to 175mph, and has a projected range of 155 miles.
Lilium describes its planned service as an ‘airline’ operation and says that flights will be scheduled. It has also announced plans to launch services in locations such as Florida and will partner with other local operators where necessary.
The company also intends to launch networks in Germany through partnerships with Munich, Nuremberg, Dusseldorf, and Cologne/Bonn airports.
Luxaviation Group CEO Patrick Hansen said: “Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft will fundamentally change the way we travel, and the Lilium network is poised to be at the forefront of this sea change in aviation.”
The Lilium Jet is due to complete EASA and FAA type certification in 2024. The design uses no tail, rudder, variable-pitch propellers, gearboxes, or oil circuits, and each motor has only one moving part. Lilium argues that the reduced number of components makes the aircraft safer and more affordable to operate.
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