Lilium has chosen Honeywell to develop the avionics and flight control systems for its seven-seater eVTOL aircraft, with Honeywell also announcing it is investing in the German startup.

Honeywell’s Compact Fly-by-Wire System will act as the flight control system on the Lilium Jet, which is responsible for controlling its moveable parts, including the 36 control surfaces and ducted fans that provide its high levels of manoeuvrability in every stage of flight. 

This system, which has been tailored for the Lilium Jet’s design, will play a crucial role in ensuring smooth, comfortable, and emission-free air travel for passengers. Alongside the flight control system, Honeywell is delivering the next generation integrated avionics system, which will provide a simplified user interface for the pilot to fly the Lilium Jet.

Yves Yemsi, Chief Program Officer, Lilium, said: “The avionics and flight control computers from Honeywell will be a key element for the Lilium Jet’s electronic architecture. Honeywell will integrate an advanced flight deck tailored for Lilium Jet as the central interface to the pilot with a vehicle management computer and a high integrity flight controls computing platform to provide a state-of-the-art Fly-By-Wire solution for the Lilium Jet.”

Honeywell will also be participating in the common stock private investment in public equity (PIPE) offering associated with Lilium’s joint SPAC merger with Qell Acquisition Corp. The amount invested by Honeywell hasn’t been disclosed in the press release, but the company joins other investors including Baillie Gifford, Tencent, Ferrovial, LGT and Lightrock and Palantir.

As well as Lilium, Honeywell is working with other companies in the sector. It has also agreed to install its fly-by-wire system in Pipistrel Aircraft’s Nuuva V300 cargo aircraft, along with critical sensor and navigation technology. Additionally, it is providing flight deck technologies to Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 aircraft.

Stéphane Fymat, vice president and general manager of Urban Air Mobility, Honeywell., said: “At Honeywell, we believe in the promise of the Urban Air Mobility segment and we see the enormous potential it has to bring about a new age of aviation and forever transform the way we think about flight and transportation.

“Lilium shares that vision with us, which has enabled us to forge a fantastic relationship. We’re extremely excited for our avionics to be on board the Lilium Jet, where they will help ensure not only safe operation, but also make it easier for pilots to fly and provide a more comfortable journey for those onboard.”

Alongside the flight control system, Honeywell is delivering the next generation integrated avionics system, which will provide a simplified user interface for the pilot to fly the Lilium Jet. It is designed to reduce training time and will support operation by a single pilot, freeing up greater passenger capacity. 

Following Toray Industries, Aciturri, and Lufthansa Aviation Training, Honeywell is the latest in a series of world-class Lilium suppliers. They are joined by infrastructure leaders such as the Tavistock Development Company, and Ferrovial, a leading airport operator, which has provided approximately $200 million in commitments to support the development of up to 14 vertiports in Florida. 

Yemsi added: “Honeywell has a decades-long track record of developing and certifying avionics and safety systems for leading aerospace companies and has worked alongside Lilium to develop a bespoke solution for our aircraft. We are proud that Honeywell is joining our roster of world-class aviation partners and also as one of our investors as we prepare to launch commercial operations in 2024.”