The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Lilium has secured a key commercial aircraft requirement from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as it looks to seal type certification.
The German company announced on November 27, 2023, that its Lilium Jet had received Design Organization Approval (DOA) which formally acknowledges an aircraft maker’s “ability to design and develop safe and compliant” vehicles.
Lilium’s DOA means the developer is qualified to design and be a type certificate holder for aircraft developed according to EASA’s SC-VTOL rules, which were published in 2019 as a requirement guide to designing and making eVTOL vehicles.
Klaus Roewe, the Lilium CEO, said the development marked a “cornerstone” for the Lilium Jet and “differentiates” the firm from other eVTOL aircraft makers.
Lilium confirmed that the process in gaining DOA qualification started in 2017.
“In simple terms, the Design Organization Approval is our License to Operate and confirms that Lilium has the organization, procedures, competencies, resources, and demonstrated rigor required to design and certify aircraft according to the very highest safety standards. This pays great tribute to our team at Lilium. Receiving Design Organization Approval from EASA further motivates us on our path to commercialize the revolutionary Lilium Jet,” Alastair McIntosh, Lilium Chief Technology Officer and Head of Design Organization, said.
Speaking on behalf of the EASA, the Acting Executive Director, Luc Tytgat, said that the agency is ensuring everything is in place for the “societal acceptance” of Urban Air Mobility (UAM).
“We are setting the right rules for operations and taking care of the environmental elements including noise, while of course ensuring that high safety standards are met. At the same time, we are wary of creating barriers to entering this new market and we have worked in partnership with Lilium, against a demanding timeline,” Tytgat said.
Lilium’s eVTOL aircraft design is different to many of its competitors that tend to use a helicopter inspired design.
Instead, its aircraft have more similarities with a jet plane, relying on Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (DEVT) as the core technology.
The design allows for the aircraft to take off vertically before accelerating off horizontally, similar to a plane.
As well as the EASA, Lilium is also pursuing type certification for its aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).