German company Lilium, developer of the first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVOTL) aircraft, announced that it has successfully achieved the transition of the main wing of its Phoenix 2 model.
«This is a landmark moment for Lilium and for electric aviation as a whole», the company said. For the first time, it successfully completed a transition test of the aircraft's main wing from a stationary flight position to a configuration for horizontal flight.
A transition like this has never been completed in flight on a full-size demonstrator aircraft before. It is also one of the biggest hurdles in eVTOL operations.
From an aerodynamic point of view, completing the transition means that the aircraft is able to switch from generating lift solely from the engines (as occurs in the hover phase) to generating lift from the airflow above and below the wing (as occurs during horizontal flight).
[...] The Phoenix 2, unlike many of Lilium's competitors' models, uses a series of thirty fans located in the wings and powered by batteries.