Honeywell and DENSO to co-develop and manufacture electric motor for Lilium eVTOL jet; Aernnova to design and build propulsion mounting system
Lilium, developer of an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) jet, is partnering with Honeywell and DENSO, who will co-develop and manufacture the Lilium Jet’s electric motor that will power the Lilium Jet’s engines. Honeywell is already developing the Lilium Jet’s avionics and flight control systems and invested in Lilium in 2021.
A leader in aerospace technologies with more than 100 years of experience, Honeywell also has an alliance with automotive giant DENSO to develop aerospace electric propulsion solutions. Through this collaboration, the Lilium Jet’s e-motor will benefit from Honeywell’s aerospace expertise as well as DENSO’s experience in high-quality volume production.
The Lilium e-motor is a proprietary, high-performance system, on which Lilium, DENSO and Honeywell teams have been working for nearly two years. It is expected to bring exceptional performance and reliability with zero operating emissions typically associated with commercial jet engines.
An air-cooled design offers structural simplicity and ease of maintenance compared with traditional liquid cooling systems, and therefore has the potential to reduce aircraft operating costs significantly.
The e-motor has its rotor and stator in a centrifugal or radial configuration, compared to traditional axial designs. This lowers the component’s weight, manufacturing costs and susceptibility to foreign object damage. It also boasts industry-leading power density, with the first prototypes designed to extract more than 100 kW of power from a system weighing just over 4 kg.
Lilium’s Procurement strategy is to engage with the technology providers with the most suitable expertise. We are already making great progress with Honeywell on its Honeywell Anthem integrated flight deck and flight control computers, and we are delighted to deepen our relationship by also partnering with Honeywell and DENSO on our e-motor. The collaboration with these two powerhouses takes us further along the path to revolutionizing regional air mobility.—Yves Yemsi, Chief Operating Officer of Lilium
Lilium has also selected Aernnova to collaborate on the Lilium Jet’s propulsion mounting system. Aernnova is one of the largest Tier 1 aerospace suppliers, providing aerostructure for companies such as Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.
A propulsion mounting system or “flap”, the structure that forms the rear part of the wings and front aerofoils, is one of the Lilium Jet’s major components, producing lift by interacting with airflow from the engine. It also houses the propulsion and vectoring systems responsible for vertical and horizontal flight.
Electric jet engines integrated into the wing flaps provide advantages in payload, aerodynamic efficiency and a lower noise profile, while also providing thrust vector control to maneuver the Lilium Jet through every phase of flight. Aernnova and Lilium will work together on the design, manufacture, and supply of the Lilium Jet’s flap structure.
The Lilium Jet’s propulsion mounting system will feature a complex and unique design. The integrated system will serve multiple functions and be modular and scalable. It will utilize lightweight material such as carbon fiber-reinforced epoxy.