Lilium, the eVTOL manufacturer from Munich, Germany, is exploring with Dusseldorf Airport and Cologne/Bonne Airport how it can create an urban air mobility network in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) with the two airports serving as main hubs. The company announced this today together with the Transportation Minister for the region, Hendrik Wüst. With 18 million inhabitants, NRW is the largest and most densely populated state in Germany. It is home to 10 cities with a population of more than 300,000, more than 40 universities, and four internationally used trade fair locations. It also includes the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, with over 10 million inhabitants the largest metropolitan region in Germany. In other words, it is a prime candidate for Lilium to roll out their vision of electric urban air mobility.
“What sounds like science fiction today may soon be reality. In the federal state with the highest mobility needs, smart ideas for better mobility are always welcome. We need all modes of transport in order to provide people with a convincingly diverse range of mobility options. North Rhine-Westphalia is a model region for the mobility of the future. We want digitally-networked mobility in North Rhine-Westphalia not only to be researched and developed, but also experienced as soon as possible. This is why we support and promote many future-oriented projects and research projects here in North-Rhine-Westphalia.”
– Hendrik Wüst, Transport Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia
The two airports were chosen because of their importance as international hubs and their connections to air, rail and road traffic. Dr. Remo Gerber, Lilium COO, says cities such as Aachen, Bielefeld, Münster and Siegen will be connected to the region’s largest international airports within 30 minutes. Lilium plans to establish regional air mobility as a viable mode of transportation by 2025.
Lilium first flew the demonstrator aircraft of the Lilium Jet in 2019. It is a fully electric VTOL aircraft seating up to five people, and is powered by 36 electric motors mounted along the trailing edges of both the canard and the main wing. The company claims the use of the smaller engines eliminate the existence of tip vortices eminating from more conventional rotors or propellers, thus greatly increasing the aircraft’s efficiency. It can experience full control in all directions using just differential thrust from these motors, and hence there is no need for regular control surfaces such as rudders, ailerons or even a tail. Lilium claims the Jet is inaudible from the ground when it flies over at 400m altitude.