Head of Design Organisation: Richard Kösters
DLR is the only European research institution with a Design Organisation established where modifications are made on its aircraft and helicopters, particularly the "flying simulator" EC 135 ACT/FHS and the ATRA A320, for fields of research. It has been approved as the National Design Organisation 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 Organisation operates an Airworthiness Office staffed with in-house personnel, i.e. certification and design engineers in all relevant engineering disciplines.
The Design Organisation 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 Organisation are the indispensable prerequisite for the efficient operation of the DLR aircraft fleet in all areas of flight environmental research. For scientific researches in the area of airplanes, there is, despite of an Airbus A320, the “flying helicopter simulator” FHS. The helicopter is a modified EC 135 with “Fly-by-Light” control.
In addition to the scientific airplane researches, the main focus lies on the airplanes as a flying laboratory. The application area covers atmospheric research, earth observation and traffic research. For this purpose the design Organisation provides additionally a Cessna Caravan, two DO228, a Falcon F20 and a Gulfstream G550.
The Design Organisation 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 Organisation 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.