The German eVTOL startup Lilium is developing and is to produce electric motor with Honeywell and DENSO for its 7-seat tilt ducted fan eVTOL.
Honeywell is already developing the Lilium Jet’s avionics and flight control systems and invested in Lilium in 2021. Honeywell also has an alliance with DENSO to develop aerospace electric propulsion solutions. Through this collaboration, Lilium’s e-motor will benefit from Honeywell’s aerospace expertise as well as DENSO’s experience in high-quality volume production.
According to Lilium, the dedicated e-motor will be a proprietary, high-performance system, on which Lilium, DENSO and Honeywell teams have been working for nearly two years. It is expected to bring exceptional performance and reliability with zero operating emissions. The e-motor will be an air-cooled design which offers structural simplicity and ease of maintenance compared with traditional liquid cooling systems, and therefore has the potential to significantly reduce aircraft operating costs. The e-motor has its rotor and stator in a centrifugal or ‘radial’ configuration, compared to traditional axial designs. This lowers the component’s weight, manufacturing costs and susceptibility to foreign object damage. It also boasts industry-leading power density, with the first prototypes designed to extract over 100kW of power from a system weighing just over 4kg.