Frank Stephenson joins electric VTOL jet maker Lilium

24 April 2018 | by Michael Gooderham

Former McLaren design boss Frank Stephenson has joined Lilium to create a new design philosophy for the company’s vehicle and accompanying products.

Based in Wessling, Bavaria, Lilium was founded in 2015 to create a two-seater VTOL flying taxi powered by numerous electric jets (no fewer than 36 on the current prototype), aiming to cut down on the time, noise and cost of travelling, primarily in cities.

Jet_landed.jpg

Said jet has claimed figures of a 300km/h top speed, 300km maximum range and a level of efficiency 90% higher [estimated] than conventional jet aircraft. Its ability to take off and land vertically like a Harrier or a drone is also a key feature. A full-size prototype successfully flew for the first time last year.

Stephenson, 58, is putting together a new team to (re)design the jet’s exterior, interior and the architecture which supports the service it will provide – namely landing pads, departure lounges and so on. They are aiming to start transporting customers in 2025.

Jet_dock.jpg

He explains: “My last job was as high up as you could be in the car design world. The obvious question was – what next? But it wasn’t one I could easily answer. Then this incredible company – founded by four super-smart young guys – came along and it immediately felt like exactly the right move.”

“Lilium is going to revolutionise city travel by moving journeys from the ground into the sky. The technology that they have already developed is truly mind boggling. My job - as we accelerate towards production and a roll-out of the service - is to develop a design that will make it not just an efficient service but a supremely well designed one.”

Jet_taking off.jpg

Designers who fancy joining in the adventure as part of his new team can do so by sending their portfolios in here.

You never know. It might just help your career take off…