Bristow Looks To Buy 50 Lilium Jets, Could Collaborate On U.S. Certification Effort

Lilium
Bristow and Lilum have signaled an intent to collaborate on U.S. certification efforts.
Credit: Lilium

FARNBOROUGH—Bristow and Lilium have announced a strategic partnership which could see the offshore vertical-lift specialist acquire up to 50 Lilium Jets and provide maintenance for the new type's launch network in Florida.

The agreement, which the companies describe as a "non-binding memorandum of understanding," includes outline arrangements that could also see Bristow collaborating with Lilium on regulatory approvals work in the U.S. The deal is "subject to the parties finalizing commercial terms and entering into definitive agreements... and the satisfaction of certain conditions," according to a media release, which does not include any indication of timescales or financial details.

Lilium has completed the preliminary design review for the seven-seat ducted-fan vectored-thrust electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) aircraft. It intends to begin building the first type-conforming prototype in 2023, and is aiming for certification in Europe by 2025. 

"Leveraging our 70-plus year legacy of innovative and sustainable vertical flight to partner with companies like Lilium to usher in a new era of vertical flight solutions is a cornerstone of Bristow’s future operational outlook," says Christopher Bradshaw, Bristow's president and CEO. "Bristow has played a key role in successfully introducing several new VTOL platforms for the past 50-plus years, so it is a natural evolution for us to take a leading role in the new and exciting advanced air mobility market and lend our expertise to innovative and dynamic companies like Lilium."

Bristow also has similar eVTOL agreements with Eve, Electra.aero, Overair, Vertical and Elroy Air.