Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer Archer Aviation has now completed the final assembly of its first Midnight aircraft.
The revolutionary eVTOL aircraft will now pass through a range of ground tests, which will lead up to a planned initial flight.
The progress of the Midnight aircraft has recently gained the attention of the U.S. Department of Defense, given its performance and payload capabilities.
Readiness for testing
With final assembly and initial testing complete, last week the aircraft was shipped from Archer’s Palo Alto facility to its flight test facility in Salinas, California and reassembled.
Archer will now take this aircraft through a series of ground tests leading up to its planned first flight this summer.
The prototype Midnight aircraft now enables the manufacturer to perform its own in-house company testing in advance of the formal Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification tests.
The conforming testing is planned to begin in early 2024 with a piloted Midnight aircraft.
Archer states that its strategy will be to fly many of the same test points that will be needed during piloted “for credit” flight testing.
This will permit them to further validate the aircraft before the FAA formally witnesses and participates in the testing.
Component manufacturing is already underway for Archer’s conforming Midnight aircraft. Archer is targeting the completion of final assembly of its initial conforming Midnight aircraft in Q4 2023 and to begin piloted flight test operations in early 2024.
“Today we announced our exciting progress that the 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 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.”
Archer’s industry-leading team, alongside its key strategic partners, Stellantis and United Airlines, continues to advance its aircraft development and commercial operations with impressive speed and efficiency.
The company has also established a significant lead over industry peers on the manufacturing and commercial operations fronts with the build out of its high-volume manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia underway and announced key strategic electric air taxi routes in New York and Chicago.
The Midnight eVTOL
The Archer Midnight is a sleek, five-passenger eVTOL aircraft that is designed for quick, quiet, and efficient travel within urban areas.
The aircraft features six tilting rotors that allow it to take off and land vertically, as well as fly horizontally at speeds of up to 150 mph (240 km/h).
The Midnight is powered by a 150 kW electric propulsion system that is designed to be quiet and emission-free.
One of the most unique features of the Midnight is its design, which includes a spacious cabin with panoramic windows and ample legroom for passengers.
The aircraft is also equipped with advanced avionics and safety systems, including a triple-redundant fly-by-wire flight control system and a full suite of sensors and cameras to ensure safe and reliable operation.
With a range of up to 100 miles, the Archer Aviation Midnight aircraft is designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between.
Archer’s goal is to transform inter-city travel, replacing 60-90 minute commutes by car that can take over an hour in traffic with approximate 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise and cost competitive with ground transportation.