After a two year successful flight test campaign with its two’ Maker’ aircraft, Archer Aviation Inc. has finally completed assembly and initial testing on the first Midnight aircraft.
The aircraft was shipped from Archer’s Palo Alto facility to its flight test facility in Salinas, California and reassembled.
Started in 2018, Archer rapidly grew, drawing the attention of large manufacturers in both vehicle and aviation fields, namely Stellantis and United Airlines. Archer believes it can offer an air taxi eVTOL vehicle powered by electricity that can be used to handle city and inter-city travel. Archer says that these types of vehicles will help ease the pressure on congested roads and thus make commutes faster.
The Midnight eVTOL draws power from six independent battery packs to power its own pair of electric motors, of which it has a total of 12 motors.
The design of the Midnight from looks like a helicopter on steroids. From above, the eVTOL shows two massive wings dangling above the main fuselage to support the 12 engine-propeller assemblies. A V-tail finishes off the sleek design.
The Midnight is expected to reach a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h) for a range as much as 100 miles (160 km).
After a planned series of ground tests, the Midnight is scheduled to fly later this Northern hemisphere summer in Salinas, California.
This Midnight aircraft will enable Archer to perform critical “company testing” to accelerate and reduce risk on its certification program with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In advance of certification, testing will begin early next year with a piloted Midnight aircraft.
Component manufacturing is already underway, with Archer targeting the completion of final assembly of its initial conforming Midnight aircraft in Q4 2023.
Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO said, “This aircraft will accelerate and reduce risk on our certification program, paving the way for our team to focus on building and conducting piloted operations with conforming aircraft to support the goal of entering into service in 2025.”
Besides its key strategic partners, Stellantis and United Airlines, the Midnight has also recently garnered significant attention from the U.S. Department of Defence for its payload capabilities, impressive speed and efficiency.
Archer has also announced key strategic electric air taxi routes in New York and Chicago.
Archer’s mission is to unlock the skies, freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time.