Fire Damages Prototype Lilium eVTOL

Lilium Jet
Credit: Lilium

The first prototype of Lilium’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has been damaged in a fire, the latest in a spate of incidents impacting electric aircraft technology developers.

The Lilium Jet caught fire on Feb. 27 during ground maintenance at the company’s facilities at Oberpfaffenhofen Airfield in Germany, from where Lilium is performing its test flights.

The German company said no one was injured and that it was “looking at understanding the cause of the fire.” 

Lilium has not disclosed the aircraft’s level of damage, but a spokesman added that a second prototype Lilium Jet was not damaged.

“We will continue our flight test campaign with this aircraft once we have fully understood the cause of this incident,” a company statement said.

The incident follows several milestones performed by the company which had seen the Lilium Jet transition from vertical to level flight and reach speeds of 100 km/hr. 

The company has also built its first manufacturing facility.

Lilium is not the first electric aircraft developer to suffer from a fire. In January, Israeli developer Eviation’s prototype Alice electric regional aircraft caught fire during ground testing at Prescott Regional Airport, Arizona. Eviation said the fire was believed to have been caused by a ground-based battery system being used during aircraft testing.


Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.