Lilium says its Phoenix 2 eVTOL aircraft technology demonstrator achieved its first full transition between vertical and horizontal operations during a September 23 test flight at the Atlas center in Spain. In a letter to shareholders reporting on second-quarter results, the company on Wednesday said the transition has been achieved during wing-borne flight on its main and canard wings at speeds of around 100 kt (190 km/h).
The German company plans to add another technology demonstrator to the flight-test program as it prepares to start building the first type-conforming example of the seven-passenger vehicle in 2023 and then begin flying it in 2024. It said recent battery-aging performance tests have shown that the Lilium will be able to achieve its target of 800+ cycles with 80 percent capacity retention on each set of batteries, subject to further evaluation by independent laboratories.
The second-quarter letter to shareholders, signed by Lilium’s new CEO, Klaus Roewe, reported that it now holds provisional sales agreements covering 483 aircraft and that it expects to sign firm contracts for these, with pre-delivery payments due, in 2023. The company also reported that it has taken deposits on the “limited edition” executive version of the Lilium Jet that it has started to offer with private aviation group NetJets.
Lilium said that its work with EASA is continuing as it seeks to reach a final agreement over the certification program, including the means of compliance (equivalent to FAA’s G-2 stage). At the same time, it is preparing for a design organization approval audit to be conducted by the European aviation safety regulator during the first half of 2023. Type certification is now targeted for 2025.
As of late September, Lilium had filed 69 patent applications, of which the European Patent Office has published 42. The company is filing supplementary applications for these patents in the U.S. and China.
During the second quarter of the current financial year, Lilium spent €63 million in cash, representing a €3 million increase over the first quarter. It has switched to filing financial reports in euros, on the basis that the majority of its liabilities and costs are denominated in this currency.