Lilium, the Munich-based startup developing an on-demand air taxi service, has been awarded one of the world’s most prestigious design accolades for its work on the Lilium Jet.
The Lilium Jet, a five-seater all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, was selected for a “Best of the Best” award by the Red Dot Design Award organization in its 2019 “Design Concept” competition.
From more than 4,200 entries the international judging panel selected fewer than 1 per cent to receive this award which celebrates the design of novel concepts and products that are not yet in the market.
The Lilium Jet was further nominated for the Red Dot: Luminary award, Red Dot’s highest annual accolade, the winner of which will be announced in September from a handful of nominees.
The award comes just two months after the five-seater Lilium Jet was revealed to the public for the first time, having completed its maiden flight in the skies over Germany.
The aircraft is central to Lilium’s plans to operate an affordable, emissions-free alternative to today’s transport options.
A philosophy of clean and simple design runs through everything Lilium does, from physical product through to customer experience.
With no tail, no rudder and only one moving part in each engine, the Lilium Jet embodies this principle as well as balancing functional engineering requirements with aesthetic beauty.
Commenting on the inspiration behind his work, Mathis Cosson, who was just 23 at the time he designed the aircraft, says: “We wanted to break with traditional aerospace design and deliver something the world had never seen before. While it had to fit strict requirements from our engineering team, we also wanted to wow people with its design.
“I believe biomimicry has a powerful role to play in design and a great deal of my inspiration came from the manta ray, one of nature’s most majestic creatures. 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.
“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.”
As well as stars of the future like Cosson, Lilium’s design team, led by co-founder Patrick Nathen, is also home to more established stars like Frank Stephenson, who, inspired by the design of the Lilium Jet, joined Lilium in 2018, having led the design of cars such as the new Mini and the McLaren P1.
Commenting on the award, Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, Lilium, says: “While we fell in love with the Lilium Jet before it even left the drawing board, we are humbled to have had its beauty recognized and validated through this award.
“We are immensely proud of what Mathis and the wider team have achieved. It just goes to show that you don’t need decades of experience, or a huge company behind you, to do something remarkable.
“Our focus is now on delivering our goal of having the Lilium Jet delighting customers in various regions around the world by 2025.”