Aircraft design

In the aircraft construction sector, Leichtwerk AG has skills and expertise in overall aircraft design. The individual aspects like aerodynamics, aircraft performance, structural design and construction are optimized synchronously.

Our design organization is EASA-certified, and therefore authorized to develop and perform airworthiness approvals for aircraft according to CS22.

For aircraft according to CS-VLA, CS-23, CS-25 as well as to rotocraft according to CS-27 and CS-29, changes related to secondary structure and related performance, electrical systems, cabin interiors and installation of avionics equipment may be designed and compliance may be demonstrated to the Agency.

Cooperations with other design organizations are possible, so that ready-developed and tested partial structures can be supplied by Leichtwerk AG.

EASA design organization

Due to its status as an EASA design organization, Leichtwerk AG is authorized to carry out own developments, prototype constructions and aircraft approvals. The current range of approvals and authorizations covers:

  • Designing gliders and powered gliders and changes thereto as well as demonstrating and verifying compliance according to CS-22

  • Designing changes related to secondary structure and related performance and installation of avionics equipment

  • Designing changes related to secondary structure and related electrical systems and cabin interiors

Changes to primary structures of large aeroplanes already have been performed as well. Such projects can be realized in cooperation with EASA; appropriate know-how has already been established with several projects.

The integration of prototyping in the authorization processes ensures that prototype construction falls within the responsibility of prototype inspection engineers. Prototype production is part of the development package, as are testing and documentation. Once the aircraft has obtained certification of airworthiness, large-scale production according to the prototype documentation can begin at EASA-certified production plants.


In the world of technology, the Greek letter η (eta) stands for the degree of efficiency, i.e. a gauge for the efficiency of energy utilization. For gliders, a high degree of efficiency is particularly important in order to use weak thermals for gaining height and maintaining achieved heights on long runs. The goal of the eta project is to exploit all the technical possibilities in order to increase the degree of efficiency.


As the glider name, eta stands for the categorical use of state-of-the-art design methods, tools and production techniques in order to achieve the best performance leap.

Besides concentrating on increasing flight performance, great attention was paid to flight properties that are both well-balanced and as simple as possible. To this purpose, it was decided to relinquish the maximum level of flight performance, as good flight quality can also contribute to the improvement of the overall performance that a pilot can achieve with an aircraft. eta is certainly not intended solely for use by experienced gliders, but should also enable excellent cross-country flights in the hands of an averagely trained pilot

Commissioned by the world famous competitive and record-holding gliders Erwin Müller, Hans-Werner Große, Hartmut Lodes, Dr. Jan Krüger, Bruno Gantenbrink and Umberto Mantica, the engineering company Flugtechnik & Leichtbau, now Leichtwerk AG, developed and constructed an extraordinary glider, under the management of Dr. Reiner Kickert.

The project was begun at the beginning of 1996 and the maiden prototype flight followed in 2000. In all, five aircraft have since been built.

In the year 2009, the project was continued with the maiden flight of Nimeta, a single seater power glider based on the wings of the eta and the fuselage of the Nimbus 4M by Schempp-Hirth.