Toray Industries concluded an agreement with Lilium GmbH to supply carbon fiber composite materials for the Lilium Jet. (Earlier post.) The Lilium Jet is a five-seater, emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically and is designed to provide high-speed regional connections of up to 300km in under 60 minutes. The aircraft’s primary structures, such as the fuselage, wings and flaps will all be made from carbon fiber.
The Munich-based company is developing this all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft to deliver clean, regional air mobility as early as 2025.
Under the agreement, Toray will supply the material directly to Lilium for use in the production of further technology demonstrators; subsequently, the material will be delivered directly to suppliers who will manufacture parts for prototypes and serial production.
The agreement also paves the way for further collaboration between the two companies, both in the provision of other high-performance materials and the establishment of research and development partnerships.
Regional air mobility could help reduce traffic congestion, noise, and air pollution in crowded cities. A December 2018 study from Morgan Stanley suggested that the rapidly growing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) market could be worth as much as $1.5 trillion by 2040, with $851 billion of that coming from the passenger market which Lilium targets.
Entities around the world are developing airframes and operational systems for air taxi services. Governments are working on regulatory frameworks. Lilium is spearheading the quest to manufacture air vehicle and develop and commercialize services.
Carbon fiber composite materials are needed to lighten such vehicles as the Lilium Jet. Toray is deepening ties with Lilium and other manufacturers while continuing to innovate materials that contribute to progress with these transportation platforms by enhancing performance, conserving energy, and lowering costs. The Lilium Jet will take up to four passengers and its pilot up to 300 kilometers in less than 60 minutes. Its fuselage, wings, rotor vanes, and other structural components will employ carbon fiber composite materials.
Toray Industries is recognized as a global leader in aerospace materials and their carbon fiber products played a critical role in the success of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Under the Medium-Term Management Program, Project AP-G 2022 announced in May this year, Toray’s Carbon Fiber Composite Materials Business seeks to expand its operational infrastructure for urban air mobility applications.
Toray aims to help resolve urban environmental issues by developing materials that cater to the unique challenges of air vehicles.