Lilium developing electric motor with Honeywell and DENSO for its eVTOL

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.

Lilium’s 7-seat eVTOL design

NEX the fuel cell eVTOL

The Berlin-based startup NEX unveiled their 4-seat lift-and-cruise eVTOL at the Green Tech Festival in Berlin held at the former Berlin city airport Tegel airport which is now called “”Urban Tech Republic “.

The speciallyunique sales point of this eVTOL design is that the energy in cruise mode will not come from batteries but from a fuel cell. This shall give the air vehicle a range over 500 kilometers.

More detail tomorrow.

The 50% scaled prototype of the Nex eVTOL
Green Tech founders Marco Voigt and Nico Rosberg

Marco Voigt with the 2 Nex founders Johannes Garbino-Anton and Dr. Mohamed ATTIA
The Vision of the fuel cell-powered air taxi Nex over Berlin

The Green Tech Festival takes place now for the 15th time . The Founders,–the former Formular One champion Nico Rossberg and Marco Voigt–gathered more than 200 exhibitors in the former Lufthansa hangar from all different fields of e-mobility .

The car manufacturer Audi is present as well as DB–the German railways, Eon and many e-mobility companies.

Autoflight’s four-seat eVTOL Prototype Completed Transition Flight

The Chinese eVTOL startup AutoFlight released a video to show that their latest Prosperity I four-seat eVTOL Proof of Concept prototype completed the full transition flight from vertical takeoff, hovering, cruise to the final vertical landing. The test flight is believed to be uncrewed, lasted about 8 minutes and the maximum speed in the flight reached about 90kts.

Prosperity I is a lift+cruise design with eight electric motors and propellors dedicated to vertical flight and one motor for cruise. The design is full electric and has four seats including the pilot. Autoflight is headquartered in Shanghai and has set up a research and certification center in Augsburg near Munich.

CAAC Released Draft of Means of Compliance for Electric Airplane Certification

After publishing the new certification rule Part 23 (CCAR-23-R4) for fixed wing light airplane earlier this month, the Chinese civil aviation regulator CAAC released the relevant advisory circular (AC) draft yesterday for public opinions which will end by 30 June. The AC draft includes technical requirement for Part 23 certification and includes means of compaliance (MOC) for section H in Part 23 for electric airplane. This MOC paves the ground for Part 23 certification for electric airplane in China. Currently the four-seat full electric RX4E airplane designed by RXGAC in Liaoning, China is undergoing CAAC Part 23 certification.

The full AC (in Chinese only) can be download at http://www.caac.gov.cn/HDJL/YJZJ/202206/P020220607619706729388.pdf

The MOC for section H in Part 23 for electric airplane is in appendix 1 beginning on page 61.

Pantuo Unveiled Flying Video of Ducted-fan eVTOL Sub-scale Demonstrator

Shanghai-based Pantuo Aero revealed a short video showing the flight of the 50% sub-scale demonstrator “T1” of their tilt-fan eVTOL. Pantuo claimed that it took about one year to design, production and system test the demonstrator.

The tilt ducted fan design is different from Lilium’s design in that the ducted fans on Pantuo’s design are relatively bigger and tilt as a whole wing structure while the ducted fans on Lilium’s design are located on the rear part of the wing where ailerons are usually located.


Pantuo’s eVTOL is designed to carry 5 people on board including the pilot, to fly up to 300km/h and to reach 250km in range.

Lilium To Have Fomer Airbus Executive as CEO

The leading eVTOL startup Lilium announced that Klaus Roewe, industry veteran from Airbus and former leader of one of the most profitable commercial aircraft programs, is to replace the co-founder and current CEO Daniel Wiegand as CEO effective on 1 August 2022. Daniel Wiegand will continue as Lilium’s Chief Engineer for Innovation and Future Programs and as a Board Director.

During his 30 years at Airbus, Klaus Roewe has spearheaded all phases of the life cycle of a commercial aircraft across Engineering, Manufacturing, Program management and Customer Support. He led Airbus’ most important business line, the A320 and A320neo programs.

Klaus Roewe to become CEO of Lilium

Daniel and his co-founders launched the company in 2015, designing and proving out a novel eVTOL jet architecture. Since then, the company has gone from a start-up to a Nasdaq-listed company with over 800 employees.

Klaus Roewe is not the first Airbus veteran joining eVTOL startup in Europe. Former Airbus CEO, Tom Enders, joined Lilium as the Chairman of the board last year. In March this year Dirk Hoke, former CEO of Airbus Defence & Space, was announced as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Volocopter, starting September 2022. In January this year Shanghai-based eVTOL startup Autoflight annouced today that they have set up a reseasrch, development and certification center in Augsburg, Germany, and will apply for EASA certification of their V1500M 4-seat eVTOL. The former head of Airbus EC135 and H145 projects Mark Henning joined as the head of Autoflight Europe.

TCab Tech To Use Safran’s Electric Motor For Its E20 eVTOL

May 31st 2022, TCab Tech, an eVTOL startup based in Shanghai China, and Safran Electrical & Power, announced a cooperation agreement to equip Tcab’s E20 eVTOL aircraft with ENGINeUSTM electric smart motor of Safran.

TCab Tech is currently developing E20, a 5-seater passenger-carrying eVTOL aircraft equipped with six rotors – four tilt and two lift rotors – and a high gull-wing with a conventional tailplane design. The eVTOL targets a maximum design range of 200km, and a cruising speed of 260km/hour. Safran Electrical & Power will supply all six ENGINeUS TM electric smart motors. TCab targets CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) certification for the E20 by 2025.

The ENGINeUSTM product line includes a broad range of electric motors with power outputs from single digit to 500 kW. The ENGINeUSTM motor that will equip the E20, delivers more than 100 kW at take-off and features a fully integrated motor controller within the machine. The thermal management is provided by an optimized air-cooling system. The certification of the electric motor is planned for mid-2023.

“A world class motor partner is essential for the development of the eVTOL aircraft.” said Yon Wui NG, CEO & Founder of TCab Tech. “We are excited to work together with Safran to integrate the E20 with high reliability and superb performance electric propulsion system. The smart motor has a well-advanced certification plan matching our E20 certification needs, which makes it an ideal choice for our eVTOL aircraft.”

“Electric motor is a critical design consideration for an eVTOL aircraft because it drives the aircraft configuration and weight, the rotor size and noise, the battery pack voltage and power, the propulsion system architecture and thermal management…etc. Collaboration with Safran increases the maturity level of our aircraft design especially the electric propulsion system design.” said Yinji HUANG, Chief Engineer of TCab Tech.

“By providing our ENGINeUSTM electric motors to this revolutionary E20 eVTOL designed by TCab Tech, Safran Electrical & Power is participating to write a new page in urban air mobility. This project combines breakthrough technologies, a low-carbon footprint and a high level of safety due to the electric distributed propulsion”, said Thierry Sieg, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Safran Electrical & Power.

“By bringing sustainable and innovative technologies, Safran is proud to partner with TCab Tech to be further present in this new emerging and environmentally friendly sector of the urban air mobility in China. We have high hopes for E20 eVTOL’s prospect in the Chinese market”, said Philippe Bardol, Safran General Delegate for China and CEO of Safran China.

CAAC’s New Part 23 Certification Rules Released

China’s Ministry of Transportation today published the highly anticipated new CAAC Part 23 certification rules which will officially comes into effect on 1 August 2021.

Similar to FAA & EASA’s new Part 23, the new CAAC Part 23 consolidates normal, utility, aerobatic and commuter categories and is performance-based, which is expected to ease the certification for light fixed-wing airplanes and to encourage innovation and new product designs.

What is most important in this new rule may be that it establishs a new section H specifically for electric powered airplane. The section H includes certification requirements for electric propulsion, battery and controller, which paves the ground for the certification of Part 23 electric airplane. Currently Liaoning Ruixiang Airplane Co. has been applying for Part 23 certificate for its four-seat single-motor electric airplane called RX4. Liaoning Ruixiang Airplane Co obtained the light sport airplane (LSA) type certificate from CAAC for its RX-1E two-seat electric airplane in  Feburary 2015 and received the production certifiate in December 2015, making RX-1E the world’s first type certified LSA electric airplane.

The official annoucement of the Ministry of Transportation: https://xxgk.mot.gov.cn/2020/jigou/fgs/202205/t20220530_3657705.html

PDF file of the full document of CAAC’s new Part 23 certification rule: https://xxgk.mot.gov.cn/2020/jigou/fgs/202205/P020220530535908383307.pdf

Hyundai To Invest $5 billion in US, Advanced Air Mobility Included

During the US President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung announced that Hyundai is going to invest additional $5 billion in the United States by 2025 on top of the $5.5 billion investment earmarked for an electric vehicle and the accompanying battery manufactuering facilities announced earlier during the week.

The domains of Hyundai’s investment will include robotics, AI technologies, autonomous driving and, more interestingly, advanced air mobility (AAM).

It is no surprise that Hyundai includes AAM in the investment plan. Hyundai has been pursuing AAM development in the US since the beginning of its AAM project. Hyundai set up an urban air mobility (UAM) division in 2019 and revealed its S-A1 eVTOL design concept at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. At Uber Elevate Summit in that same year Hyundai announced a partnership with Uber Elevate, making it the first automotive manufacturer to officially join Uber’s urban air mobility vision. Hyundai’s AAM team include many veterans from the US aerospace industry including the head of the AAM divison and former NASA deputy adminstrator Jaiwon Shin.

In November 2021 Hyundai announced to rename its AAM/UAM division to Supernal headquartered in Washington DC and designated Jaiwon Shin to be the CEO. Supernal targets to launch commercial service of AAM in 2028.

The AAM/UAM vision of Hyundai’s Supernal

HY4 Hydrogen Airplane At AERO 2022

HY4 is a four-seat hydrogen fuel cells technology demonstrator. A team led by Prof. Josef Kallo from the DLR Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics at the German Aerospace Center has been developing HY4’s powertrain and worked with industry and research partners Pipistrel, H2FLY, the University of Ulm, and Stuttgart Airport to make the maiden flight in 2016 a reality.

Since HY4 has more than one seat, it literally can be called the world’s first passenger aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system. Down the road, the team is partnering with Deutsche Aircraft to develop a hydrogen-powered Dornier 328, a 40-seat aircraft covering up to 2000 km, by 2025.

The aircraft was built by the Slovenian airplane manufacturer Pipistrel, and consists of two Pipistrel Taurus G4 motorglider fuselages connected by a common central-wing section on top of which the propulsion unit is located. This consists of an 80kw electric motor with the propeller in front and three low-temperature hydrogen fuel cells behind. The hydrogen is carried in two high-pressure tanks made of carbon fiber, located in each of the two fuselages just aft of the passenger cabin. HY4, as a technology demonstrator, can fly at a cruising speed of 145km/h and maximum speed of approximately 200km/h. Its range varies from 750km to 1,500km, depending on the speed, load and altitude parameters. The empty weight of HY4 without the fuel cell, battery and storage system is approximately 630kg, whereas the maximum weight is 1,500kg.

With the success of HY4, the team aimed more ambitious goals. In 2021 H2FLY, the managerial body of HY4 project, secured a large funding both through a strategic investor and a wide range of government-backed research grants. A sixth-generation fuel cell engine, powering the latest HY4 model, was designed by Josef Kallo and his team. Despite the difficult circumstances, the modified HY4 took off on 6 November 2020, in Slovenia, towards a new horizon of commercial prospect.