Archer Aviation announced May 11, 2023, the completion of final assembly of its first electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) Midnight aircraft. With final assembly and initial testing complete, the aircraft was shipped last week from Archer's Palo Alto facility to the flight test site in Salinas, California, where it was reassembled for ground testing.
First flight scheduled for this summer
Archer Aviation announced May 11, 2023, the completion of final assembly of its first electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) Midnight aircraft. With final assembly and initial testing complete, the aircraft was shipped last week from Archer's Palo Alto facility to the flight test site in Salinas, California, where it was reassembled. Archer will now put the aircraft through a series of ground tests in preparation for its scheduled first flight this summer. The Midnight aircraft has recently received special attention from the U.S. Department of Defense because of its payload capabilities.
Ground testing to begin
The Midnight will allow Archer to conduct critical "enterprise testing" to expedite and de-risk its certification program with the Federal Aviation Administration prior to the "for credit" certification testing the company plans to begin early next year with the piloted Midnight. "Our strategy with this aircraft is to allow Archer to perform many of the same test points that will be required during the "for credit" piloted flight tests to further validate the aircraft before the FAA attends and participates in the testing," the manufacturer comments, which is standard practice in many aircraft certification programs.
Toward the Midnight Compliant
Component manufacturing is already underway for Archer's Midnight Compliant. Archer plans to complete final assembly of its first conformal Midnight in the fourth quarter of 2023 and begin piloted flight test operations in early 2024. "Today, we announced that final assembly of our first Midnight aircraft is now complete and it is preparing for its flight test program," said Adam Goldstein, Archer's founder and CEO. "This aircraft will accelerate and de-risk our certification program, paving the way for our team to focus on building and conducting piloted operations with compliant aircraft to support the goal of entering service in 2025."
With support from Stellantis and United Airlines
Archer's industry-leading team and key strategic partners, Stellantis and United Airlines, continue to advance its aircraft development and business operations with impressive speed and efficiency. The company has also gained a significant lead over its industry peers in manufacturing and commercial operations, with the ongoing construction of its high-volume manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia, and the announcement of strategic electric air cab routes in New York and Chicago.
Replacing 60- to 90-minute car trips
With a range of up to 100 miles, Archer's Midnight is designed to make back-to-back fast flights with minimal charging time in between. Archer's goal is to transform intercity travel, replacing 60- to 90-minute car trips that can take more than an hour in traffic jams with 10- to 20-minute electric air cab flights that are safe, sustainable, low-noise and cost-competitive with ground transportation.
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