In November 2022, Archer Aviation Inc. unveiled its production Midnight aircraft, a pilot plus four Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft for use in urban air mobility networks.
Now Archer has announced that it has completed its first Midnight aircraft’s final assembly and initial testing. The aircraft was shipped from Archer’s Palo Alto facility to a flight test facility in Salinas, California, last week and reassembled.
The eVTOL aircraft has a range of up to 100 miles (161 km) and is designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between. Archer’s goal is to replace car taxis that can take 60-90 minutes to travel between cities with their eVTOL air taxi, which will take only 10-20 minutes with impressive speed and efficiency. The air taxi is safe, sustainable, and produces lower noise at a very low price compared to similar products.
Archer will take the aircraft through a series of ground tests leading up to its planned first flight in the coming months.
The Midnight aircraft will enable Archer to accelerate its certification program with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It will also allow the company to undergo critical testing to reduce risk before credit certification testing, which the company plans to begin with piloted Midnight aircraft early next year.
Archer aims to complete the final assembly of its initial conforming Midnight aircraft in Q4 of 2023 and begin experimental 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.”
The Midnight Aircraft has recently attracted the attention of the US Department of Defense because of its payload capacity.