Archer Aviation announced Maker, its eVTOL demonstrator aircraft, has completed its first successful hover flight, accelerating off the ground and hovering in place before returning to the ground safely. The flight marks the completion of the company’s first full and complete systems test and validation of every hardware and software component working as intended to move the aircraft into the air.
The flight test resulted in successful checkout of the company’s flight control system in flight and the end-to-end close of flight software. Now that flight has been achieved, Archer will move forward with an ongoing extensive flight test campaign into 2022 and beyond.
Maker aircraft is an autonomous two-seater eVTOL aircraft that has been certified for flight testing by the FAA. The full-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing demonstrator aircraft can travel at speeds of up to 150 mph (241 km/h) and reach a 60 mile (96 km) range before reserving on a charge.
Following the hover expansion, the team will begin the transition envelope expansion, ensuring Maker is able to move from hover to forward flight. While expanding Maker’s test flights, Archer also plans to unveil its piloted, four-seat production-intent aircraft in 2023.
“Everything we’ve accomplished this year, every milestone hit and partnership struck, was all with one goal in mind: developing both an aircraft and a UAM ecosystem that could scale and change the face of intra-city travel,” shared Adam Goldstein Archer, co-founder, and co-CEO. “With our first hover flight now completed, we’re one major step closer to that goal and have proven that Archer can work at a fast pace without sacrificing safety or quality. Our team stands ready to continue that pace as we work toward launching an aerial ridesharing service in late 2024.”