Lilium chief executive Klaus Roewe says he is confident that the German company will hit its target of service entry for the developmental Lilium Jet by the middle of 2026.

Although the Bavaria-based firm has yet to fly a full-scale version of its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, it has two production-conforming prototypes in final assembly at its Wessling headquarters, paving the way for a manned first flight by the end of the year.


Source: BillyPix

Full-scale mock-up was unveiled at EBACE show

That will lead to a flight-test campaign lasting around 18 months, says Roewe, during which a six-strong fleet will accumulate some 900h in pursuit of European Union Aviation Safety Agency certification. Service entry is targeted for mid-2026.

Roewe, a former Airbus A320 programme chief, believes the proposed timeline is solid.

“Doing it in 18 months - I am not feeling comfortable, but I am feeling confident,” he says.

While Lilium “could propose something more sporty”, his experience running aircraft development programmes suggests “you will learn something that forces you to redesign” either software or hardware.

“We want to say what we do and do what we say,” Roewe adds.

“You have to build trust – when someone buys your plane you are together for the next 20 years and you don’t want to start your relationship by cheating.”

Roewe was speaking to FlightGlobal at an event at the EBACE business aviation show in Geneva, where it unveiled a full-scale mock-up of the Lilium Jet.

Meanwhile, Lilium has unveiled a series of agreements deepening its relationships with customers and infrastructure providers.

UK-based eVolare has signed deposit-backed “binding sale and purchase agreements” for four Lilium Jets, and has agreed terms for the reservation of another 12 production slots.

It builds on an initial agreement signed by the pair in 2022 covering 20 aircraft.

Lilium has also announced an expansion of its partnership with Luxembourg-based Luxaviation Group, which will see the company’s ExecuJet subsidiary develop electrified ground infrastructure for the Lilium Jet initially across its network of European fixed-base operations, with further sites in the Middle East planned.

Separately, the company has signed a three-way pact with Italian vertiport operator UrbanV and Aeroports de la Cote d’Azur – operator of Nice airport - to create a vertiport network across the French Riviera.