The Lilium air taxi is getting closer to market. It recently hired Mirko Reuter, former head of Automated Driving at Audi, Jakob Waeschenbach, former head of Equipment Installation at Airbus, and Rochus Moenter, former Vice President of Finance and Leasing at Airbus.
Lilium is a German company based out of Munich. Its air taxi design is one of the sleekest on the market, and with over $90 million in funding achieved just last year, its well on its way to being one of the world’s first on demand air taxis.
Mirko Reuter, the new Head of Autonomous Flight at Lilium, was formerly the Head of Automated Driving at Audi. There, he led the development of all automated driving functions, as well as the development of vehicle platforms technologies and future vehicle concepts. At Lilium, he will be responsible for the process of developing the technologies necessarily to bring autonomous flights completely to market.
Jakob Waeschenbach, formerly the Head of Equipment Installation at Airbus, will be the new Head of Aircraft Assembly at Lilium. Waeschenbach spent years at Airbus ensuring quality in manufacturing, engineering, logistics, supply chain and finance. He also developed Airbus’s new and certified production line of the Single Aisle Family of aircraft. At Lilium, he will “lead the convergence between aircraft and automotive production”, and will assist in establish Lilium’s first production facility.
Lilium will also be adding Roechus Moenter, who was the former Vice President of Airbus’s Finance and Leasing Group. Moenter will be the General Counsel and Head of Legal for Lilium.
The company is unique in that it plans to be a direct competitor to UberAir. Like Uber Elevate, it plans to roll out its services in 2025. Unlike many of the current eVTOL developers on the market, Lilium has not sought to become a partner for Uber, and instead has opted to develop its own operations and front-end service. Potential routes are Manhattan to JFK and Paris to London.
As a reminder, the Lilium is a eVTOL featuring tilted duct-fans that can travel at speeds up to 300km/h with a 300km range. It’s design features a total of 18 integrated jet engines that can seamlessly transition from horizontal to Vertical flight. Lilium completed it’s maiden flight in April 2017, and Lilium plans to complete it’s first manned test flight in 2019. Read more about the Lilium eVTOL.
Why it’s important:
With this major hire from two big players in vehicle innovation and production, Lilium further marks it’s place as main competitor for air taxi services. With Uber as one of the other biggest companies in the space, Lilium needs to be doing everything it can to put itself at the forefront of the industry, as conveyed by Lilium CEO and co-founder:
“To bring the best talent to Lilium has always been our goal. We are delighted to welcome such a high calibre of new team members that will bring a wealth of expertise in key strategic areas to our growing company and further enable our vision.”