DLR is the only European research institution with a Design Organisation established where modifications are made on its aircraft and helicopters, particularly the "flying simulators" VFW 614/ATTAS and EC 135 ACT/FHS, for fields of research. It has been approved as the National Design Organization LBA.NJA.005 by the Civil Aviation Authority Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA). DLR is licensed to certify type modifications for flight test purposes on its own experimental aircraft. Therefore the Design Organization operates an Airworthiness Office staffed with in-house personnel, i.e. certification and design engineers in all relevant engineering disciplines.
The Design Organization develops modifications to conduct research activities for users from DLR research institutes, external research establishments, industry and government authorities/agencies. That comprises the development, type investigation and supplemental type certification of interior and exterior test equipment/attachments or modifications in compliance with applicable airworthiness requirements. The capabilities of the Design Organization are the indispensable prerequisite for the efficient operation of the DLR aircraft fleet in all areas of flight environmental research.
The Design Organization itself grants the supplemental type certification for minor changes within the legally allocated area. Therefore it administrates governmental tasks and acts as part of the administration authority of the Federal Republic of Germany. For major changes The Compliance Program is coordinated with the LBA. Once the supplemental type investigation is finalized and the Design Organization has issued a safety statement the main proof-of-compliance documents are submitted to the LBA. The Civil Aviation Authority can accept the submitted proof-of-compliance documents without any additional revision. Based on these documents the authority grants the supplemental type certification for the major change.