Lilium Initiates Wind Tunnel Testing of Fully Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing Jet
Lilium, the developer of the world's first fully electric vertical takeoff and landing jet, has commenced wind tunnel testing of a 40% scale model of its Lilium Jet with functioning motors and flap actuators at the German-Dutch Wind Tunnels (DNW) facilities in Marknesse, the Netherlands.
This latest campaign follows Lilium's successful previous testing of aircraft sections in the wind tunnel in 2021 and 2022 and represents an important milestone in the aircraft's development towards certification.
The testing, which began in early May, will enable Lilium to obtain a comprehensive set of aerodynamic data to validate its flight physics and performance predictions. The data set will cover the entire flight envelope of the aircraft, from hover to cruise flight.
The scale model is one of the most advanced ever tested in a wind tunnel and was built to the latest Lilium Jet design by TGR-E, a high-end manufacturing solutions provider, with support from aerospace design specialists IBK-Innovation. The large size and low scale factor of the model enable representative test data to be generated for the full-scale aircraft in all flight phases.
The scale of the model was made possible by the dimensions of the DNW facilities, which are Europe's largest wind tunnels, with a width of 9.5m (31ft). Each flap is remotely actuated and equipped with electric ducted fans built to scale by the aerospace propulsion engineers at Schuebeler Technologies.
DNW plays an important role in the development of the aerospace sector since its inception in 1976 by the German Aerospace Center DLR and the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory NLR. DNW wind tunnels have been used in the development of all Airbus aircraft, from the A300 to the A380 and A400M, as well as the Embraer E-jet family and numerous helicopters.
"This is an important step in our aircraft program, and it's very exciting to see this large-scale Lilium Jet model with motors and flaps in operation. We have been hugely impressed with the cooperation with DNW so far and the support provided by TGR-E and IBK," said Alastair McIntosh, Chief Technology Officer of Lilium.
"We look forward to generating large amounts of aerodynamic data on the aircraft and increasing confidence in our design tools as we prepare for the start of final assembly later this year," he added.
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