Small fans, all things considered, deliver thrust less efficiently than big ones. Lilium might have the best-looking aircraft in the eVTOL game, but it uses 36 tiny fans where competitors use 6-8 larger ones, and that's got the odd chin wagging: is Lilium shooting itself in the foot, guaranteeing its aircraft shorter range figures than open-rotor competitors carrying the same amount of battery?
Perhaps not. The company has decided to address these concerns head-on and revealed plenty about Lilium's thinking in the process. We caught up for a Zoom chat with Lilium co-founder and VP of Product Patrick Nathen, and the company's new CTO, Alistair McIntosh, fresh out of his last position as Chief Engineer and Managing Director of Rolls-Royce Germany, to talk about the pros and cons of the small-fan approach.