Lilium recently shared its vision of a scalable, high-speed regional transportation system for for aerial mobility. Naming the key design concepts as “lean” and “modular”, Lilium could potentially accommodate a variety of locations for a vertiport, whether at an existing transportation terminal, next to a shopping center, or even directly next to a residential area, similarly to a bus stop.

Focusing on simplicity and cost-efficiency, Lilium’s design centers on modules that would implement fundamental components for both regulatory compliance and efficient operations. Lilium designed the modules with three basic parts: a take-off area, vehicle parking, and a terminal. Lilium mentioned that the vertiports would also require high-power charging equipment, air traffic control technology, and digital check-in tools, but that those would be ‘bundled’ into a standardized ‘plug-and-play solution’ for easy scalability. 

Photo courtesy of Lilium.

The takeoff area, sometimes referred to as a FATO (Final Approach and Take-Off) or a TLOF (Touchdown and Lift-OFF area), will be a focal point for operations. With careful considerations for safety and regulatory compliance, a safety zone will be integrated into the takeoff area with inspiration taken from existing heliports.

The parking stand is where the passengers would board and disembark from the aircraft (in this case, the Lilium Jet) as well as where aircraft cleaning, checkups, charging, and transfer of flight data would be conducted for speedy throughput operations. Additionally, the parking stands are properly sized to ensure passenger safety while not taking up excess space. 

The terminal, designed with a reduction in waiting and processing kept in mind, according to Lilium, “focuses on delivering a seamless and frictionless experience for our customers.”

An exemplary urban vertiport layout. A- takeoff area, B- parking stands, C- terminal. Photo courtesy of Lilium.

“Vertiports, in their smallest configuration, can be built for as little as €1–2 million. These basic versions of a vertiport are typically ground-based, with small waiting areas and a limited set of gates for charging. Larger, elevated structures require a higher investment of between €7–15 million, depending on their situation and size.” (from a statement from Lilium)

While technical specifications of the modules and overall vertiport configurations have not been revealed, the driving force behind Lilium’s design is clearly simplicity and scalability, which would allow Lilium to expand vertiport infrastructure as fast as possible while considering regulatory compliance, safety, and variable capacity standards. 

Read more about Lilium’s innovative design in their blog post here.

The Lilium Jet. Photo courtesy of Lilium.

Why it’s important: Lilium’s vision for a scalable vertiport brings modularity and a distinct level of simplicity to the table. With the latest concept, stakeholders in Lilium get a first look at what ‘standardized’, regulatory compliant, and safe vertiports may look like in the coming years.

Source // Lilium Blog

Posted by Ian Shin

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