The inspiration behind the Lilium Jet design

Published 6th August, 2019

Lilium Blog

When designer Mathis Cosson sat down to sketch the Lilium Jet for the first time, his inspiration came not from the skies, but the oceans.

The then 23-year old designer, fresh from completing his studies at the Institut Supérieur de Design (a grande école of design management in Valenciennes, France), had been given the chance to stamp his identity on the future of air transport by leading the design of the latest Lilium Jet prototype.



The task would involve working hand-in-hand with the engineering team responsible for setting the requirements for the aircraft, as well as the founders of Lilium who had designed previous version of the aircraft.

Mathis took on the challenge and, as seen in recently released sketches, drew inspiration from one of nature’s most majestic creatures - the manta ray. “I believe biomimicry has a powerful role to play in design and a great deal of my inspiration came from the manta ray,” says Mathis.


Sketch of Lilium Jet and Manta Ray


“The way it glides almost magically through the water was something we wanted to emulate with the Lilium Jet, delivering a sense of calm elegance and minimalist design. From the initial design direction I received from an external agency to my earliest hand sketches and the casting of the final parts for the aircraft, we kept our focus on delivering something that looked as if it had been sculpted by nature rather than by the human hand.”

Today, Mathis and the wider design team are celebrating as the manta ray-inspired Lilium Jet has been selected as a Red Dot Award winner - one of the most prestigious design awards in the world. More than that, it has also been selected as a ‘Best of the Best’ in their Concept category and nominated for Red Dot’s highest accolade - the Luminary Award, given to only one of more than 4,200 entries annually.



Patrick Nathen, co-founder and VP of Product, shares the background and ethos behind the Lilium Jet's design: "As a team, we set out to design something the world had never seen before. But we didn't want it to just be good for the environment - it had to look great and feel great for the customer too. Finally, it had to speak to the principle of simplicity that runs through everything we do."

"What Mathis and the team have achieved is remarkable. We are incredibly proud of our design team and can't wait to see the Lilium Jet gliding across our skies."


Lilium Jet awarded Red Dot 'Best of the best' Design award


Explore the award-winning Lilium Jet further here.

Join the award-winning Lilium team here.