Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Lilium’s eVTOL jet to operate at Downtown Manhattan Heliport

Lilium has recently announced its support for the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s efforts to accommodate eVTOL operations in the Downtown Manhattan Heliport. The company has chosen an agnostic heliport operator who can serve a wide range of aircraft and advanced air mobility (AAM) use cases.

The heliport will play a significant role in the planned future Northeast Corridor regional network for operators of the Lilium Jet, which is the first all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet.

NYCEDC has closed its Request for Proposals (RFP) window for firms with heliport, airport, vertiport, logistics, or hub management expertise to operate a future Downtown Manhattan Heliport in Lower Manhattan.

The German eVTOL maker believes that its flagship aircraft is well-suited for air taxi operations in New York. Apparently, the Lilium aircraft is claimed to be the first of its kind worldwide and is particularly compatible with regional air mobility. While many eVTOLs are designed for short-range intra-city flights, the Lilium aircraft can promise to reach locations such as the Hamptons, Atlantic City, and Philadelphia during the initial stage.

In the future, it could even connect New York to places like Baltimore, Boston, and Martha’s Vineyard. Imagine taking an electric jet from NYC to Martha’s Vineyard without having to worry about traffic and emissions. However, the success of this later development primarily depends on how fast global battery technology will evolve.

Lilium has managed to adapt jet propulsion technology to electric operations, resulting in what they’re calling the world’s first eVTOL jet. This unique approach sets them apart from others in the industry that use hybrid methods to extend their range.

Lilium’s DEVT (Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust) technology-based power-lift configuration has the potential to enhance overall performance and accommodate a bigger payload. Also, they’ve partnered with top-tier suppliers, such as Collins Aerospace, GKN Aerospace, and Honeywell, to develop their flagship aircraft.

An agnostic operator operating heliports or vertiports ensures those sites operate at their full potential by not restricting usage to specific companies, aircraft types, industries, or hyper-compatible technologies. Lilium commends NYCEDC for its multifaceted approach, which is likely to enhance the economic benefits the heliport will drive.

Lilium’s planned commercialization approach focuses on being an OEM with aftermarket support and services while selling to various individuals and companies for private, premium, and shuttle operations.