‘Our vision is to bring the world a form of travel that has never existed before,’ says Patrick Nathen, co-founder and vice president of product at Lilium. ‘Before we even put pen to paper, we knew that we wanted the final design of the Lilium Jet to take an organic form.’

Instead of looking to the skies, Nathen turned to the ocean, and the form of the manta ray, inspired by the effortless way they glide. Biomimicry played an important role. Mantas move through the water by the wing-like movements of their pectoral fins, which drive water backwards. ‘We sought to bring the same simplicity and elegance to our own aircraft,’ Nathen continues, and as these new sketches reveal, a philosophy of clean and minimal design runs through Lilium’s processes. With no tail, no rudder and only one moving part in each engine, the Lilium Jet embodies this near-natural ideal, while balancing functional engineering requirements.

Two months since its maiden voyage over Germany, focus is now on landing the Lilium Jet – and delighting customers in the process – in various regions around the world until 2025. Keep one eye up. §