Archer nears completion of first eVTOL build

A nearly complete Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL in the hangar.
Photo Credit: Archer Aviation

Archer Aviation Inc. is now nearing completion of the final assembly of its first Midnight, the production eVTOL aircraft it unveiled last November.

All major aerostructures (i.e., wing, tail, and fuselage) have been built and mated together and the company reported it has also installed a significant portion of the wiring, electronics, actuators and other systems.

Flight testing

Archer is currently targeting to begin flight testing of this aircraft in mid-2023. This aircraft will be used to enable company testing in advance of “for credit” certification testing.

The company has also now begun component manufacturing for its conforming Midnight aircraft, which will be flown with a pilot.

Archer intends to build at least six of these conforming Midnight aircraft to be used as part of its “for credit” testing with the FAA in support of Type Certification.

The company is targeting completion of its initial conforming Midnight aircraft in Q4 2023. In turn, that conforming aircraft would then begin piloted flight test operations in early 2024.

These conforming aircraft are set to be built at Archer’s San Jose, California manufacturing facility and integrated test lab, located strategically just around the corner from its headquarters.

“A lot goes on behind the scenes to advance the development of our aircraft as efficiently as we have. I couldn’t be more excited to share the news of Archer’s progress on Midnight,” said Tom Muniz, Archer Aviation’s COO.

“This latest milestone is further validation of our strategic approach of using known building blocks to enable realistic innovation significantly de-risking our path to certification and mass manufacturing.”

“The team and I are looking forward to moving this aircraft into flight testing soon and continuing on our path to flying our conforming aircraft in early 2024.”

About the Midnight eVTOL

In February 2021, Archer announced the new concept aircraft called the “Midnight.”

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.

Archer Aviation recently began construction on its high-volume eVTOL manufacturing facility project in Covington, GA.

The planned approximately 350,000 square-foot facility is strategically located adjacent to the Covington Municipal Airport and will be capable of producing up to 650 electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft per year.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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