Technology, linked to the means of transport, continues to evolve. After the electric car, comes the plane. Something that may seem typical of a sci-fi movie is closer than ever to becoming a reality in Spain, especially in the cities of Ceuta, Malaga and Algeciras. These three southern cities form a key triangle in Mediterranean waters, with air connections by helicopter.
The possibility of this connection changing the means of transport, towards an electric vehicle with vertical take-off and landing, can be done through the intermediary of the company Lilium, dedicated to this type of transport, and Hélity, the airline which currently serves the connections between the 3 cities. According to a joint press release, Hélity “intends to initially acquire five Lilium Jets to offer premium and business charter flights to its customers”.
Currently, the airline has an Augusta-Westlan AW-139 helicopter with a capacity of 15 passengers, which it uses on both scheduled and charter flights. With this initiative, Hélity would create an eVTOL network between Andalusia and our city. “With its zero operational emissions and low noise profile, the Lilium Jet is an excellent addition to our existing helicopter fleet. With its large and spacious cabin, the aircraft is very well prepared to handle business traffic and premium in the region. I have no doubt that in the medium term, it will revolutionize the concept of commercial and short-haul business aviation”, underlined the executive director and owner of Hélity, Antonio Barranco.
Lilium was founded in 2015 in Munich (Germany) and is one of the world’s leading electric air mobility companies. These days, the company is conducting flight tests with its fifth-generation demonstrator at the ATLAS flight test center it owns in Villacarrillo, Jaén.
Lilium CEO Daniel Wiegand highlighted the “great demand for high-end tourism” that is attracting southern Spain. That’s why “combined with Helity’s extensive knowledge and local experience in operating helicopters, as well as the hiring of highly qualified pilots, we have the ideal conditions for the development of a sustainable air mobility network in the region,” he stressed. . .
Around 300,000 passengers
Helity offers helicopter shuttles between Ceuta, Algeciras and Malaga, as well as private charter flights in southern Spain. With approximately 300,000 passengers carried to date between the autonomous city and the peninsula. The Lilium Jet, with its premium cabin, expected physical range of 250 km and expected performance capabilities in various weather conditions, is perfectly suited to meet the transport needs of the region.
How is the Lilium Jet?
The Lilium Jet is an electric vehicle specially designed to take off and land vertically. It is a growing medium currently, but has been present in the military field for several decades.
This plane has a few peculiarities, one of them being its neat aerodynamics, dispensing with the tail vertical stabilizer. Also, to achieve greater efficiency, they decided to integrate the engines into the wings themselves with a thrust guidance system, developed by themselves.
In total, it has 36 engines integrated into superstructures arranged on the flaps which have been designed to generate lift. They are accompanied by a variable nozzle which modifies the diameter of the air outlet of the engine to adapt it to the needs.
The cruising speed of the Lilium Jet is 280 kilometers per hour and its autonomy allows it to cover approximately 250 kilometers. This is more than enough to cover the jumps between Ceuta, Malaga and Algeciras. All this at a cruising altitude that reaches 3,000 meters and with a noise footprint approximately 7 times lower than that generated by a helicopter.
Regarding its operability, this aircraft can take off and land on any heliport, since its wingspan does not exceed 14 meters. This makes it a perfect means of transport for VIP trips between urbanizations with this installation along the coast of Malaga and Cadiz.