Sunday, March 3, 2024

Collins Aerospace to build new flight controls for Lilium eVTOL jets

The market for flying cars, or electric air taxis, is expected to continue growth during this decade. Excitement is building around air taxis as more aviation companies explore partnerships and purchase agreements.

The Munich-based Lilium is one of the players in the game. The final version of its electric aircraft is closer to certification thanks to multiple partnerships with some of the biggest names in the industry. Safety is a key aspect of the certification of these future electric air taxis.

The eVTOL manufacturer has now teamed with Collins Aerospace to design, develop and build the Lilium Jet’s inceptors – the innovative sidestick system used by the pilot to control the aircraft. Collins Aerospace is an expert in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry and a Raytheon Technologies business.

The Lilium Jet inceptors will provide safe and intuitive handling qualities and an aesthetic, ergonomic design. Additionally, it will provide easier access for the pilot to all the mechanical and electrical flight controls.

While integrating all conventional mechanical and electrical flight controls into two sidesticks, the Collins Aerospace system brings a new piloting philosophy for single-pilot operations in the eVTOL realm. The system will also be designed to bring significant space and weight savings compared to conventional sidesticks.

This partnership continues Lilium’s strategy of teaming up with established tier-one aerospace suppliers to support certification and prepare the industrial ramp-up. Collins Aerospace brings 50 years of experience in the cockpit controls to the advanced air mobility market. Its extensive experience will help certify the Lilium Jet’s inceptors to commercial aviation standards.

“Our partnership with Collins Aerospace allows us to reap the benefit of five decades of experience in flight deck controls. Our two companies’ collaborative development approach allows us to reimagine the cockpit and pilot experience and further strengthens our path towards certification and commercialization,” said Yves Yemsi, Chief Operating Officer at Lilium.

“Our extensive experience innovating sidestick design is key when tackling the challenges of redefining the entire flight control philosophy for single-pilot aircraft in this new market of advanced regional air mobility,” said Jean-François Chanut, vice president and general manager of Collins Aerospace Propeller Systems. “This innovating and exciting partnership with Lilium is a first step in defining the right solutions towards more automated, sustainable, and safe operations for the future of flight.”