Lilium Jet

Quick Summary

The Lilium Jet is an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft designed and manufactured near Munich, Germany. The Jet features 36 ducted electric vectored thrust (DEVT) fans to provide vertical thrust for takeoff and landing. These same fans then slowly rotate towards rear facing as the Jet accelerates and converts to its forward flight mode. The prior 5-seat variant aircraft is defunct and the company is now pursuing plans to have a 7-seat model and 16-seat model variant of the Lilium Jet.

Lilium, a Munich, Germany based company founded in 2015.

Stage of Development

Preliminary Design

Prototype Build

Flight Testing


Commercially Operating
Technical Details
5-seater specifications:

Aircraft Type: Winged VTOL

Powerplant: All-Electric

Range: 300 km / 186 miles

Top Speed: 300km/h / 187 mph 

Propeller Configuration: 36 ducted fans

Passenger/Payload Capacity: 5 passengers

Autonomy Level: Semi-Autonomous; autonomy function built in for future implementation, however the aircraft is currently piloted

Dimensions: 36 ft wingspan

7-seater specifications:

Aircraft Type: Winged VTOL

Powerplant: All-Electric

Range: 250+ km / 155+ miles

Top Speed: 280 km/h / 175 mph 

Propeller Configuration: 36 ducted fans

Passenger/Payload Capacity: 1 pilot; 6 passengers

Autonomy Level: Piloted

Dimensions: 36 ft wingspan

From Lilium's Technical Overview
  • Zero operating emissions
  • Architecture benefits:
    • Aerodynamic efficiency - With fixed wings, embedded distributed propulsion, and no tail, the Lilium Jet is highly efficient in cruise flight
    • Market-leading payload - Ducted engines provide a high payload at low footprint, enabling the use of existing helipads
    • Low noise profile - Acoustic liners help capture and dissipate noise before it reverberates into the environment
  • Ducted electric vectored thrust
    • The proprietary technology at the core of the Lilium Jet is Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (DEVT) which we have refined through successive generations of aircraft demonstrators. Electric jet engines integrated into the wing flaps provide advantages in payload, aerodynamic efficiency and a lower noise profile, whilst also providing thrust vector control to manoeuvre the Lilium Jet through every phase of flight.
  • Underlying engine technologies
    • Traditional jet engines power 95% of commercial aircraft and we have based our design on the same principles, yet far simpler.Our electric jet engines rely on just a single "stage" rotor/stator system driven by an electric motor with zero emissions

  • Designed for versatility
    • The Lilium Jet can adapt for a range of customers and uses, with each configuration optimized for an unparalleled experience. The most spacious cabin arrangement is designed for private flights, with luxurious club seating. Alternatively, the cabin can be configured with 6 seats for passenger flights, or without seats to serve the zero-emissions logistics market.

"At Lilium, we have invented a completely new aircraft concept for the modern age. While vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) itself is not new – after all, quadcopters, tilt rotors and tilt wings are well-known concepts – we did not want to accept the compromises inherent to these configurations.

Quadcopters excel with their simplicity but are highly inefficient in cruise flight. Transition aircraft can fly three times faster and ten times further with an equally sized battery, but system complexity is usually much higher.

So, the goal was set: defining a transition aircraft concept with better performance in safety, noise, speed, range and payload than existing concepts, while cutting complexity to one third.

We challenged physical limitations, mechanical complexity and energy laws, until we came up with something new and unique. Something simple and efficient."

The Jet

The Lilium Jet consists of a rigid winged body with 12 flaps. Each one carries three electric jet engines. Depending on the flight mode, the flaps tilt from a vertical into a horizontal position. At take-off, all flaps are tilted vertical, so that the engines can lift the aircraft. Once airborne, the flaps gradually tilt into a horizontal position, leading the aircraft to accelerate. When they have reached complete horizontal position, all lift necessary to stay aloft is provided by the wings as on a conventional airplane.

One Flap,
Covering it All.

The beauty of this system is its simplicity. In comparison to existing concepts, Lilium Jets require no gearboxes, no foldable or variable pitch propellers, no water-cooling, and no aerodynamic steering flaps. Just tiltable electric engines.

What’s more: The Lilium Jet has the highest possible structural efficiency. As we can provide differential thrust from the engines in cruise flight, no stabilizing tail is necessary.

Efficient and Fast.

The design of the electric engines ensures a very low drag coefficient in cruise flight, leading to a higher speed and range. The energy consumption per seat and kilometer thereby becomes comparable to an electric car – but the jet is 3 times faster.

More Efficiency at Low Speeds.

The Lilium Jet uses an integrated high-lift system. The objective is to increase the lift of the wings even at low speeds to save energy. While hovering is very energy-consuming, as an aircraft must provide thrust equal to its own weight, dynamic lift of wings consumes much less energy to stay aloft. So, it is important to create as much dynamic lift from the wings as possible, even at very low speeds.

Electric Jet Engines

The electric jet engines work like turbofan jet engines in a regular passenger jet. They suck in air, compress it and push it out the back. However, the compressor fan in the front is not turned by a gas turbine, but by a high performance electric motor. Therefore, they run much quieter and completely emission-free.

Our Take on the Lilium Jet

The Lilium Jet is amongst a handful of leading eVTOLs in the aerial mobility industry, and is sleek, fast, and successful thus far in flight testing. Lilium has produced a very viable prototype eVTOL with a target entry to market of 2025, and completed the first manned flight of its five-seater aircraft in early 2019. The company has gone to great lengths to intentionally design key features of the vehicle to align with the expected customer experience and seamless integration in to an urban operating environment, while also ensuring to make no compromises in safety. In 2020, the company was valued at over one billion USD and deemed to be a "unicorn" in the financial sector. Since then, Lilium has largely lived up to its reputation, though there is still significant runway ahead of them before the Jet can be implemented in commercial use-cases.