Lilium Phoenix 2 Demonstrator Reaches Top Speed During Flight Test

The German eVTOL developer says the test moved its aircraft closer to certification.

Lilium said its Phoenix 2 eVTOL recently completed a round of high-speed tests. [Courtesy: Lilium]

Lilium, the German eVTOL developer, said its Phoenix 2 demonstrator aircraft reached its intended maximum cruise speed of 136 knots at sea level during a recent test flight.

The company said the demonstrator’s performance is significant because it helps developers evaluate the aircraft’s stability and controllability, and the operation of its flight control software during high-speed phases of flight. The recent test flight helps bring the aircraft one step closer to certification, Lilium said.

The Lilium eVTOL, which uses vectored thrust from electric ducted fans mounted on moveable control surfaces, is a departure from competing designs, many of which use larger rotors and resemble scaled-up consumer drones. 

The company said the aircraft’s unusual architecture gives it advantages in terms of payload, aerodynamics and noise.

Phoenix 2 began flight tests in Spain last spring and has recorded a number of milestones including transition of the main wing and the full translation of the vehicle from a hover to wing-borne forward flight.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest FLYING stories delivered directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter