Archer Aviation, a prominent figure in the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) sector, has reported a significant development in its flight test program. The company revealed that its new Midnight aircraft recently completed a successful flight. This development is built upon Archer’s extensive flight testing experience, including two years of full-scale tests with its Maker aircraft.
Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO, commented on the achievement, stating, “Following four years of dedicated flight testing, this new phase highlights the cumulative efforts and successes of our team. With the advancements seen in the Midnight aircraft, we are moving steadily towards our goal of commercialization. Our primary focus for the next 18 months will be on intensifying our flight test program and the development of Archer’s electric air taxi operations, setting the stage for Midnight's anticipated market launch in 2025."
Archer COO Tom Muniz, with a history of taking seven full-size eVTOL aircraft from conceptualization to flight test, remarked that the recent milestone with Midnight is a considerable achievement. According to Muniz, it underscores the strides Archer and the broader eVTOL industry are making towards delivering a scalable and market-ready aircraft.
In the near future, the testing program for Midnight is projected to swiftly transition from initial hover tests to full wing-borne transition flights. This progression will set the stage for Archer to commence "for credit" testing sessions in collaboration with the FAA next year. This is all in line with the company's target of formally introducing the aircraft into service by 2025.
In tandem with the tests for Midnight, Archer also plans to persist with Maker’s flight test program. Additionally, the company will conduct flights simulating commercial routes to further hone its operational readiness.
Archer envisions reshaping urban transportation. The firm aims to offer a solution to the lengthy 60-90 minute car commutes, proposing a swift 10-20 minute electric air taxi alternative. This not only promises speed but also emphasizes safety, sustainability, minimal noise, and cost efficiency comparable to traditional ground transport. Specifically, Archer’s Midnight aircraft, which can accommodate a pilot and four passengers, is designed to facilitate quick consecutive flights, requiring only brief charging intervals.