Denso, Honeywell Co-developing Motor for Lilium’s All-electric Jet

Denso Corp. and Honeywell are co-developing an electric motor for the Lilium Jet, pictured. // Courtesy of Honeywell
Denso Corp. and Honeywell are co-developing an electric motor for the Lilium Jet, pictured. // Courtesy of Honeywell

Denso Corp., a global mobility supplier with North American headquarters in Southfield, and Honeywell, an aerospace company, are co-developing an electric motor for the Lilium Jet.

This is the first product developed by Honeywell and Denso since formalizing their alliance, and it marks Denso’s entry into the aerospace market. The two companies will work with Lilium, developer of an all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet, to integrate the e-motor into Lilium’s aircraft engines.

As mobility becomes increasingly diversified, air mobility offers potential solutions to prominent transportation issues, such as traffic congestion in urban centers, CO2 emissions, and transportation access in less populated areas.

Established in 2015, Lilium is creating a sustainable and accessible mode of high-speed, regional transportation for people and goods. Lilium has designed, built, and tested technology demonstrators as they pioneer the next phase of flight.

“Lilium’s Procurement strategy is to engage with the technology providers with the most suitable expertise,” says Yves Yemsi, COO at Lilium. “We are already making great progress with Honeywell on its Honeywell Anthem integrated flight deck and flight control computers, and we are delighted to deepen our relationship by also partnering with Honeywell and Denso on our e-motor. The collaboration with these two powerhouses takes us further along the path to revolutionizing regional air mobility.”

The e-motor for the Lilium Jet consists of a rotor and stator, weighing approximately 4 kg and having an output of 100 kW. The rotor and stator are designed to meet the small size and low weight necessary to achieve Lilium’s performance goals.

The proprietary, high-performance system, on which the Lilium, Honeywell, and Denso teams already have been working for nearly two years, brings what the companies call “exceptional performance and reliability with zero operating emissions” typically associated with commercial jet engines.

“Honeywell has been at the forefront of innovation in aviation for a century, and we are proud to closely collaborate with Denso and help usher in the age of electric flight,” says Stéphane Fymat, vice president and general manager of urban air mobility at Honeywell Aerospace. “Lilium’s innovation, combined with our experience in aerospace, will help to bring about cleaner, more sustainable ways for people to travel for centuries to come.”

Denso and Honeywell began joint research in 2019 and signed an alliance agreement in early 2021 to design, develop, produce, and sell electric propulsion system products for electric and hybrid-electric aircraft.

“We’re honored to help electrify air travel with Honeywell and Lilium,” says Jiro Ebihara, senior executive officer and head of the Electrification Systems Business Group at Denso. “The e-motor co-development solidifies Denso’s successful entry into the aerospace industry, giving us the opportunity to increase vehicle electrification not only on land, but also in the sky. This supports our efforts to create a more efficient and sustainable future.”

This work advances Denso’s two causes: achieving carbon neutrality by 2035 and contributing to a safer and more seamless world for all. For Honeywell, it expands the company’s range of ready-now technologies that are helping customers improve sustainability and deliver operational efficiencies.