Lilium Aviation wins Grand Prize in Hello Tomorrow challenge
Tomorrow Grand Prize for its project concerning an electrically-powered private airplane with vertical takeoff and landing capability. This young German company won the €100,000 prize, while garnering excellent publicity.
Supported by a European Space Agency business incubation center, Lilium is developing a personal electric airplane with 30 mini-ducted fans. The first test flight is scheduled for 2017. It was designed to take off and land vertically, with a top speed of 400 km/h (249 mph).
According to Grégoire Aladjidi, head of Safran Corporate Ventures and a member of the Aeronautics jury, "Hello Tomorrow has established itself as the benchmark event for technology startups. The strong showing this year by aeronautics startups, especially Lilium Aviation as winner of the Grand Prize, is a clear signal to industry. Lilium shows that, even in a sector like aviation, considered difficult for startups to get a foothold, young multidisciplinary teams can still win over a jury comprising demanding investors, entrepreneurs and industrialists."
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The awards ceremony took place on October 14 in Paris at the end of Hello Tomorrow. More than 2,000 people attended presentations on a wide variety of subjects, including the future of medicine, the commercialization of space, mobility and smart agriculture.
Stéphane Cueille, Safran Executive Vice President for R&T and Innovation, gave a talk on "Can aircraft fly without oil?" while Eric Dalbiès, Executive Vice President for Strategy and M&A, participated in a roundtable discussion on "Drones and aeronautics: convergence or disruption?"