The Munich-based startup Lilium has received a “Best of the Best” award from the Red Dot Design Award organization for its eVTOL air taxi, the Lilium Jet.
The Lilium Jet was recognized in the 2019 “Design Concept” category for novel concepts and products that are not yet on the market. According to Lilium, from more than 4,200 entries, the international judging panel selected fewer than 1% to receive the honor. The Lilium Jet has also been nominated for the prestigious Red Dot: Luminary Award, the winner of which will be announced in September.
Mathis Cosson was just 23 and a recent graduate of the Institut Supérieur de Design in Valenciennes, France, when he designed the aircraft. Although he had to meet strict requirements from Lilium’s engineering team, he said, he also wanted to “wow” people with its design, and turned to the manta ray for inspiration.
“The way it glides almost magically through the water was something we wanted to emulate with the Lilium Jet, delivering a sense of calm elegance and minimalist design,” Cosson stated. “From my very first hand sketches through to the casting of the final parts for the aircraft, we kept our focus on delivering parts that look as if they have been sculpted by nature rather than by the human hand.”
Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said the award demonstrates “that you don’t need decades of experience, or a huge company behind you, to do something remarkable.”
Lilium revealed the full-scale prototype of its five-seat Lilium Jet in May of this year, shortly after the aircraft’s first hover test. The vectored thrust “tilt jet” features two fixed wings: one main wing at the rear of the aircraft, and a canard wing at the front. A total of 36 small electric ducted fans are mounted in the wings in flaps that can move independently.
In addition to developing the aircraft, Lilium also plans to operate its own on-demand air taxi service, which it is aiming to deploy by 2025.