FAA Issues Certification Basis For Lilium Jet eVTOL


Electric aircraft developer Lilium announced on Monday that it has received the G-1 Certification Basis from the FAA for its Lilium Jet all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) design. The Germany-based company was issued a CRI-A01 certification basis for the model by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2020. According to Lilium, it is the first eVTOL developer to be issued certification bases—which set out the specific airworthiness and environmental standards required for type certification of the model—by both agencies.

“This is a major step towards our goal of achieving early certification of our aircraft in key markets to support a worldwide entry into service,” said Lilium Chief Technology Officer Alastair McIntosh. “We are grateful to have found great partners on both sides of the pond to electrify the skies. As per FAA practice, there will now be a collaborative process where Lilium and EASA provide feedback to the FAA before the G-1 is issued for public consultation.”

With an eye toward the regional air taxi and freight markets, Lilium is aiming for a top speed of up to 300 km/h (162 knots) and a range that can cover routes between 40 and 200 km (22-108 NM) for its seven-seat Lilium Jet eVTOL. The company has said it hopes to extend the model’s range to up to 500 km (270 NM) after launch. Lilium flew a two-seat eVTOL prototype in 2017 and a five-seat version in 2019.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. The rules for aircraft, especially commercial passenger aircraft, are well known.
    Looks like they trying to bypass existing commercial aircraft safety regulations to make their ROI happen faster, because electric.

  2. “The company has said it hopes to extend the model’s range to up to 500 km (270 NM) after launch.”

    Hopeium? More than doubling range is going to take a dramatic leap, of the which there is nothing on the horizon to make possible, except… hope.

    • Come on, Man! Just run the pax configuration with only the operator/observer on board, and the freight version hauls only rice cakes and other LDPE styrofoam products and you’re almost there. Easy peasy!

  3. “Hopeium” + Unobtainium turns irrationality into a giant money pit.

    First, the eFreaks want to replace ICE power with motors and batteries. Now, with this thing, they want to make a jet, too.

    Their website has some great vaporware!

    Maybe these folks should take a lesson from what just happened near the Titanic wreck? OR, maybe the X-57 Maxwell? Me thinks some of the purveyors of these ideas have spent too much time above FL180 without O2?

  4. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    Lillium, Joby, and others are in the process of daring to something no one has done before. Create an air taxi that is quiet, efficient, and that will help to address climate change. What are the cold timid souls daring to do?

    • But…it has been done before and success still has to wait for other technologies. Doing it again and again and expecting a different outcome is not the definition of “valiant”; quite the reverse actually.

      As far as air taxies controlling the weather, that too borders on imagination rather than reason.

  5. It’s really all about portable energy. And so far anyway, nothing has come close to petroleum type fuels. Battery operated land vehicles are quite heavy, except for Aptera, which is a three wheel solar cell covered vehicle that claims a 1,000 mile capacity and a 40 mile a day recharge if parked in sunlight.
    But given the persistence of these inventors, something better might occur…as their methodologies are based more on science than alchemy. 🙂

  6. It does not take “Hopeium” + Unobtainium” All that it takes is Lithium + Sulfur and sulfur is practically a “throw-away” material. The best lithium ion batteries gets somewhere around 260 kWhr to maybe around 300 kWhr and the solid state batteries will get around 400 kWhr but the Lithium + Sulfur batteries will get around 800+ kWhr with current technology. This enough to consider designing short to medium haul regional 100+ passenger aircraft. If we did not people willing to take risks, we would still be riding horses and shoveling you know what. I expect that there will be more than a few failures along the way but nothing risked, nothing gained. See Lyten for more info.

  7. Link for Lyten batteries: https://lyten.com/products/batteries/

    No Nickel. No Cobalt. No Manganese. No Graphite. -> Lower Bill of Materials
    >2x the energy density (Wh/kg) + Faster Charging
    60% lower weight EV battery pack
    100% locally-sourced and manufactured battery
    Inherently Safer. Resistant to overcharge and thermal runaway
    Manufactured using existing Li-Ion Battery Manufacturing Technology

  8. The 1903 Wright flyer had a 12 hp engine that weighed about 200 pounds. The Dayton-Wright Racer had fllaps and variable camber wings, retractable gear, a fully cantilevered wing. and 250 horsepower, water-cooled engine and an estimated top of 190 mph – all done by 1920 – when Ford was still making hand-cranked engines. If the landing gear hadn’t failed, it could been record-breaker. The Wright challenged the commonly-accepted lift tables for airfoils using a wind tunnel built from scratch, realized a propeller was, itself, a rotating airfoil, saw the need for and found a solution to lateral roll control making controllable flight possible and choose to make the Flyer a pusher configuration which made the paltry engine produce enough thrust to sustain flight.

    All done by two young bicycle mechanic-makers, sons of a Minister of modest means and a very clever bike mechanic, Charles Taylor, who designed and built a revolutionary internal combustion engine. You have to see the their simple, spare bicycle shop in Dayton.

    I read somewhere that Benjamin Franklin was asked of what use was a hot air balloon being demonstrated to which Benjamin replied “of what use is a baby?”

    Progress. We haven’t seen anything yet.

    • People were flying well before the Wrights in various ways. In fact, copying others successful glider flights was the starting point for their first glider. I think there was already a patent on ailerons well before 1903. Other people were already making engines and some specified the same specs as the Wright.

      Point is that aviation has always been a “parts bin” of other technologies and “inventing” is mostly just having enough of other people’s products and tech at hand. The same with EV aviation. Aviation will not be inventing batteries any more than the Wrights invented sailcloth or internal combustion. EV planes will not supplantalong, not before.

        • This I can agree with. There other places that provide an edit capability. In a sentence above, my brain got ahead of my fingers and I left out a verb.

          • Always, slowly, re-read what you just wrote before pressing send. You might just change your mind about what you wrote!

          • at Greg A: Ever hit the wrong pixels in Foreflight when in turbulence? I was making an edit and a finger dragged over the wrong pixel on the touch screen and there is no way to un-post or edit.