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German eVTOL maker Lilium partners with Honeywell for flight control and avionics systems – TechCrunch


German electric air mobility company Lilium has partnered with aerospace manufacturer Honeywell to develop the electronic and mechanical systems for the 7-seater Lilium Jet, the company’s first eVTOL.

Honeywell will supply its compact fly-by-wire system, a flight control component that will be responsible for controlling all of the Jet’s moving parts, and the aircraft’s avionics system. EVTOL Vertical Aerospace also uses Honeywell’s compact electric flight system in its aircraft, but the avionics system in the version Lilium will use was designed to meet the specific technical requirements of the Lilium Jet.

Honeywell is a giant in the aerospace manufacturing industry and one of the first to create a team dedicated to urban air mobility. The company has also become an investor in Lilium by participating in the private equity common equity investment (PIPE) announced in connection with the SPAC merger of Lilium with Qell Acquisiton Corp.

The two companies have been in discussion and collaboration since February 2019, Lilium’s program manager Yves Yemsi told TechCrunch. He said Lilium had identified the key skills she wanted to keep in-house – the design and assembly of the propulsion and battery systems and the final assembly of the aircraft, for example – and will partner with experienced suppliers for other aircraft parts.

“Collaborating with experts, aerospace partners, is a deliberate choice for us,” he said. “This will help us reduce our time to market while remaining secure. “

A key benefit of the partnership is how it will help the certification process, Yemsi explained. Some Honeywell components have obtained a Technical Standard Order (TSO), which is a minimum performance standard recognized by the FAA. Using components authorized by TSO could help save time in the certification process.

Lilium already has teams of people working on obtaining approval for design, production and production organization, two types of approvals issued by the Aviation Safety Agency of the European Union (EASA) which essentially verify that the company is capable of placing a product on the market. These approvals complement the type certification that Lilium aircraft (and all other eVTOLs) must obtain from the United States Federal Aviation Administration and EASA before the company can begin commercial operations.

The partnership with Honeywell, a recognized aircraft manufacturer, marks a major step forward for Lilium. The next step after Honeywell begins delivering components is to develop and test the aircraft in a systems integration lab, which tests avionics and electronics systems on the ground, Yemsi said.

“Now the hard work begins,” he said.



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