Germany-based eVTOL aircraft developer Lilium has selected Astronics Corporation, a provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defence and other mission-critical industries, to design, develop and build the Lilium Jet's electrical power distribution system.
Lilium senior vice president procurement Martin Schuebel says: “Astronics is our ideal partner for this very important component of our aircraft. It is our intention to collaborate with the best aerospace suppliers and leverage their expertise. Astronics' expertise is unique, and its collaborative approach makes it a perfect match for us. The partnership will also help pave the way for the coming industrial ramp-up.”
Power distribution units play a critical role within the Lilium Jet's electrical power system. Astronics will be responsible for the secondary power distribution units (SPDUs) and charging power distribution units (CPDUs).
Lilium Jets will each be equipped with two SPDUs and one CPDU. SPDUs are responsible for high voltage (1000 VDC) to low voltage (28 VDC) conversion and for low voltage distribution and protection. Compact and light weight, they ensure a reliable supply of power from the batteries to the aircraft's critical systems, including flight controls, avionics, navigation, communication, sensors, internal and external lights and passenger comfort.
The CPDU manages the battery charging operation, as well as providing additional and dissimilar sources for high voltage to low voltage power conversion and low voltage power distribution, which minimises common-cause failure modes between the CPDU and SPDU. It also provides an additional layer of aircraft safety by monitoring insulation, detecting and reporting short circuit risks across the system.
The supplier agreement follows more than one year of collaborative work between the two companies and marks a further key milestone in the industrialisation of the Lilium Jet.
Astronics is one of the leading tier one aerospace suppliers in its field, providing innovative power, lighting and connectivity solutions for aircraft including major commercial aircraft OEMs such as Airbus, Boeing and Embraer. Astronics also offers complete design, integration and certification services. The company leads many industry working groups in its field and is a leader for high voltage power distribution in aviation.
“Astronics is thrilled to announce Lilium as a launch customer for our CorePower high voltage products designed for the more electric aircraft and eVTOL platforms," says president Jon Neal. "This partnership demonstrates the flexibility of our products and our close collaboration with our customers. Astronics is excited to join Lilium in being a part of the evolution of aviation moving towards cleaner, more sustainable and accessible modes of transportation.”