Archer Aviation’s eVTOL ‘Midnight’ Moves Closer to Certification

An Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL on a test flight.
Photo Credit: Archer Aviation

Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR), a developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, achieved a major regulatory breakthrough today.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released Archer’s Midnight aircraft’s final airworthiness criteria for public review.

This significant regulatory milestone provides the solidified path for Archer to achieve Type Certification for Midnight. 

Archer is one of two companies in the world to achieve this certification progress with the FAA for an eVTOL aircraft. 

 The finalization of Archer’s airworthiness criteria now permits Archer to work with the FAA to obtain the remaining final approvals on its certification and test plans. 

Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL aircraft hovering.

A Step Toward Type Certification

This crucial step paves the way for Archer to secure Type Certification for Midnight, positioning them as one of only two companies globally to reach this stage with the FAA for an eVTOL aircraft.

The finalized airworthiness criteria empower Archer to collaborate with the FAA on obtaining the final necessary approvals for its certification and testing plans.

This is a critical juncture as Archer intensifies its “for credit” testing with the FAA and prepares for piloted flight testing later in 2024.

“Midnight is on the cusp of carrying passengers across the U.S. skies in the coming years,” declared Billy Nolen, Archer’s Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer and former FAA Administrator.

“Finalizing Midnight’s airworthiness criteria is a significant milestone in our mission to make electric flying taxis a ubiquitous reality!”

“We extend our gratitude to the FAA team for their unwavering support in propelling the electrification of aviation forward.”

Midnight Testing Ramps Up

Eric Wright, Archer’s Head of Certification gave comment on the latest step. “This achievement significantly strengthens Midnight’s certification program as we ramp up our ‘for credit’ testing efforts with the FAA.”

Archer has now tested Midnight’s systems and components to ensure flight safety in preparation for upcoming piloted flight tests scheduled for later this year.

An Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL aircraft on the tarmac.

This testing aligns with their ongoing FAA certification program. Furthermore, the company has made substantial progress in constructing its initial fleet of three piloted conforming Midnight aircraft.

The first aircraft is slated to begin piloted flight testing later in 2024. This will be followed by “for credit” flight testing alongside the FAA as Archer progresses towards commercialization.

Archer envisions revolutionizing urban transportation by transforming lengthy car commutes into swift, sustainable, and noise-reduced flights.

It aims to replace a 60-90 minute drive with a 10-20 minute air taxi flight. This will be achievable at a comparable price to ground transportation.

The company’s eVTOL Midnight aircraft, designed for rapid consecutive flights with minimal charging intervals, boasts four comfortable passenger seats.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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