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Managing editor Jen Nevans has more than a decade of editorial experience. She is an award-winning writer and editor, receiving numerous accolades for her published articles. Jen is eager to join the eVTOL.com team and cover this exciting and growing industry.

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Lilium extends eVTOL type certification timeline to 2025

German eVTOL developer Lilium has extended its type certification timeline, stating that the company is now targeting 2025 to receive certification for the Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft.

Lilium
German-based Lilium said it is extending its type certification program for its Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft to 2025. Lilium Image

The company’s CEO Daniel Wiegand shared the news in a blog post on Lilium’s website, asserting that the company is going through a “rigorous process” with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that its aircraft would meet a “safety standard equivalent to a commercial airliner.”

“Our rigorous process is also why we engaged early and often (since 2017) with both EASA and the FAA, and why we were one of the earliest companies whose application for type certification was accepted by both authorities,” Wiegand wrote. “We are also one of only a few eVTOL companies who have received our certification basis (CRI-A01) from EASA, a fundamental milestone in the certification journey.”

Lilium had previously set its goal of receiving type certification from EASA in 2024, but company executives recently adjusted its timeline to 2025 based on its current design activity status to develop a safe aircraft, its discussions with regulators, and the global supply chain disruptions.

“We want to really proceed with the right maturity and at the right pace. Safety is super important for us,” Yves Yemsi, Lilium’s chief operating officer, told eVTOL.com. “That points to type certification in 2025.”

Wiegand stated that the company now plans to build its first conforming aircraft in 2023, and unlike some competitors like California-based Joby Aviation, Lilium is steering away from vertical integration for its manufacturing plan. Wiegand stated that Lilium’s goal is “not to work against the aviation industry [but] to work with it, because it takes more than your own team to do something as revolutionary as what we’re trying to do.”

The blog post comes as Lilium plans to host its first Supplier Day event today, where Lilium will mobilize more than 70 of its suppliers and about 150 expected guests to share the company’s design data from its preliminary design review (PDR). Yemsi said it’s a move the company is making now to address current supply chain disruptions.

“We want to give a signal to the supply chain now of what our requirements will be — not only for the first prototype but for when we ramp up production,” Yemsi said.

With its first conforming aircraft in hand next year, Lilium said it will then spend the following 15 to 18 months running its final test flight campaign.

“The question I usually get is: Why does it take so long? And the answer is: Because it’s difficult,” said Yemsi, adding the company has invested a significant amount of time in its PDR to ensure its aircraft would meet all safety standards before locking in its design.

The company had also experienced a setback in its flight test program after its first prototype was damaged in a ground fire in 2020. In November 2021, the company announced it would be moving its flight test campaign to Spain, where it planned to expand its flight envelope to include high-speed flight testing, as well as full transition to wing-borne flight. Lilium announced this week that it had received the greenlight from Spanish authorities to restart its flight test program.

Lilium is developing a six-passenger eVTOL aircraft for air taxi services, as well as a four-passenger “club cabin” for elite private buyers. The company said the aircraft can also be reconfigured for cargo delivery services.

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5 Comments

  1. Beautiful thing – Lillium!
    I sincerely hope it will see the light of day eventually.

  2. ‘receiving it’s certification basis’ -as some kind of achievement ? certification standards are in place for aircraft in many categories -no one has a ‘special’ edition as implied. Lilium is so poorly designed it will never be approved . loss of power leaves it like a glider with ten sets of airbrakes out (at least) plunging to certain death –not ‘gliding’ or fail safe as touted . The proverbial is rapidly approaching 36 fans – stand back !

  3. Electric propulsion and eVtol specifically, employ a number of new & novel technologies which were not fully accounted for by already existing certification standards. Hence closure of the certification basis (CRI A-01) would be a critical initial step on the path of certification.

    Of course, the harder part will be agreeing on the means and methods of compliance with EASA, followed by analyses, design reviews, testing, etc., to show that Lillium design complies with the requirements. Considering their work ahead, certification in 2025 veers on the optimistic side, but remains within a realm of possibilities, depending on how well it is managed.

  4. Placing thrusters way out on wings invites ‘pinwheeling’ if birdstrike or fire or failure occurrs — in transition or hover worst cases . Birds don’t know about one in a billion failure rates and cluster in flocks despite the risk to other aircraft AND do it low down –very inconsiderate of them , Tiny high speed carbon fibre blades will not like being used as ‘slice and dice’ poultry cutters . Ice shed into these micro blades ,even hail, maybe even rain might mess up a nice day that would not affect a man sized metal propeller. Don’t run the battery out in the air……etc

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