The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Lilium Appoints Veteran Rolls-Royce Engineer to Lead eVTOL Program

Lilium has appointed a new chief technology officer and head of design organization to oversee the development and certification of its five-seat, all-electric Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft. Alastair McIntosh, formerly managing director and head of engineering and technology with Rolls-Royce Germany, took on the position in late December.

The appointment further strengthens the German company’s management team as it aims to meet its target of beginning commercial flights in 2025. In November it recruited Geoffrey Richardson as its new chief financial officer.

McIntosh spent just over 30 years with Rolls-Royce, after joining the aircraft engines group in 1987 as a design engineer. He previously held roles such as chief engineer for the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine that powers the Airbus A350 airliner and chief engineer for the BR725 engine for the Gulfstream G650 business jet. 

Critical to his new role with Lilium is McIntosh’s experience as a qualified accountable manager who meets the regulatory requirements of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). He holds Form 4 accountability approval from EASA, through which the startup is seeking to complete initial type certification for its aircraft in 2024.

McIntosh has a degree in mechanical engineering from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland and is a chartered engineer with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He has been a board member of the BDLI German Aerospace Industries Association for the past five years. 

Meanwhile, Lilium has declined to comment further on recent media reports that it is preparing to raise further capital through the creation of a special-purpose acquisition company. It told FutureFlight it had nothing to add to the previously published comment by chief operating officer Remo Gerber, who told eVTOL.com: “We don’t comment on the specifics of our future funding plans. We are currently in a strong financial position, having raised $375 million to date, most of that in this past year. Our significant co-investments by suppliers and partners also play a part in our position.”

So far, most of the funds raised by Lilium have come from venture capital groups, including Atomico, Tencent, Baillie Gifford, LGT, Freigeist, and Obvious Ventures. The appointment of Geoffrey Richardson as CFO suggests that the company may want to tap his extensive contacts and experience in the Silicon Valley technology sector.

On November 11, Lilium announced a major U.S. partnership with property developer Tavistock Development Company, to make the Orlando-area Lake Nona development the first vertiport base in a planned air mobility network across Florida.