Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Archer’s Midnight air taxi battery pack completes extreme tests

Archer Aviation announced the successful completion of rigorous battery pack drop testing conducted at a National Institute for Aviation Research lab. The company conducted several tests on the battery packs designed for its Midnight aircraft to ensure their ability to withstand various impact scenarios.

Archer’s engineering and certification teams led Midnight’s proprietary battery packs through three 50-foot drop tests simulating extreme impact scenarios. The battery packs withstood the impact without any signs of failure and continued to function properly, even at varying states of charge. Archer’s choice of utilizing cylindrical cells within Archer’s battery proprietary battery pack design played a pivotal role in this success.

Passing these critical tests marks a significant milestone in the development of the company’s proprietary electric propulsion system for its Midnight aircraft in what is seen as one of the most difficult tests to pass for an eVTOL aircraft. This Archer is in a strong position to successfully complete this same test in upcoming for-credit testing with the FAA.

“Successfully passing the battery pack drop tests marks a pivotal moment that paves the way for future’ for credit’ certification testing with the FAA,” said Alex Clarabut, Archer’s Battery Lead. “This accomplishment highlights our dedication to not just meeting but exceeding safety standards. It is a critical step towards our goal of ensuring that Midnight will be among the safest aircraft in the skies. It’s a testament to our team’s relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence, and we’re thrilled with the results, which show that the battery packs not only passed the test but still functioned properly afterward.”

Archer’s vision for urban travel is to revolutionize it by replacing long 60–90-minute commutes by cars with short 10-20-minute electric air taxi flights. The company aims to make these flights safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation. To achieve this, Archer has developed Midnight, a four-passenger aircraft that can perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time between them and is piloted for added safety.

United Airlines has already made a substantial deposit for the pre-order of up to 100 units of the Midnight aircraft, and it seems that many other operators around the world are interested in it as well. Just recently, the eVTOL manufacturer from California closed another huge deal of around $500 million in the UAE, with private aviation operator Air Chateau committing to purchasing up to 100 units of the Midnight eVTOL.

Archer aims to launch regular flights between Dubai and Abu Dhabi by 2025, which is an exciting development for the AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) industry in this region, with enormous potential for air taxi transportation.