German aerospace company Lilium, which is developing the all-electric Lilium Jet, reached an agreement with Toray Industries for the supply of higher performance carbon fibre composite. News of this important materials deal comes less than a month after Lilium finished another investment round that brought its total funding to date to more than US$375 million.
The Lilium Jet is a five-seat, emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically, targetting the Urban Air Mobility sector, but with a slightly greater regional range. The aircraft is being designed to provide high-speed regional connections of up to 300 km in under 60 minutes.
The Lilium Jet’s primary structures, such as the fuselage, wings and flaps will all be made from carbon fibre. Toray Industries is well known as a global supplier of aerospace materials with its carbon fibre products recently being used for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“Securing this supply agreement marks an important step in the maturity of our supply chain and in our preparations for serial production,” said Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO at Lilium.
The Toray material will initially be supplied directly to Lilium for use in the production of more technology demonstrators, before being delivered directly to suppliers that will manufacture parts for prototypes and, ultimately, serial production.
“Toray’s wealth of experience in the world of high-performance carbon fibres and composite materials speaks for itself and we’re proud to be counted amongst the aerospace companies they supply,” said Yves Yemsi, chief program officer, Lilium.
Lilium states the agreement also paves the way for further collaboration between the two companies, both in terms of providing other high-performance materials and the establishment of research and development partnerships.
“We look forward to working with Lilium to solve the environmental issues in urban areas, contributing by the power of materials,” said Minoru Yoshinaga, Toray senior VP, and GM of Torayca and Composites Division.
Lilium explains its vision of air mobility encompasses a network of vertiports spread across a region, whereby each additional vertiport added to the network would connect directly with all others within a 300 km radius, leading to a fast scaling network that can provide regional connectivity at a fraction of the cost of traditional infrastructure such as high-speed trains. Lilium expects commercial operations to commence in 2025.