Six months after unveiling the design of its production eVTOL air taxi, Archer Aviation has revealed its first functional Midnight aircraft, with flight testing set to begin in the coming months – and production of a standard-compliant prototype has already begun.
Midnight is one of a new generation of futuristic electric air taxis designed to fly you from rooftops to helipads across town as quickly as a helicopter — but quieter, cheaper and with zero emissions. It will fly up to 100 miles with four passengers and a pilot, fast-charging its batteries at the “vertical landing pad” where it lands.
The prototype shown today was designed for internal flight testing; it’s not the aircraft Archer will use through the FAA certification process. This will be the prototype that meets the standards — the final design that will go under the microscope of the regulator and eventually go into production.
Components are already being manufactured for a prototype that meets the standards, Archer said. It aims to be fully built by the end of this year and to begin test flights in early 2024.
Well, the unqualified prototype unveiled today is all about taking this design into the air, ironing out any unforeseen wrinkles, making it fly in a wide range of conditions and maneuvers, and making any last-minute changes before it goes into expensive and expensive aircraft. Lengthy authentication process. This is an exercise in acceleration and risk reduction.
As a result, Archer will begin ground testing soon, with the intention of making its first flight this summer, and the uncrewed flight test program is designed to mimic the rigorous testing the FAA will conduct on qualifying prototypes.
“Today we are announcing the exciting progress that final assembly of our first midnight aircraft is now complete and it is preparing for the flight test program,” said Adam Goldstein, founder and CEO of Archer. “This aircraft will accelerate and de-risk our certification program, paving the way for our teams to focus on building and piloting aircraft with standards compliant to support the goal of entering service by 2025.”
this current version The AAM Reality Index ranks Archer as the third-closest company to bring its product to market at scale, behind Joby Aviation and Volocopter, and the third-most well-funded and judged company to bring these futuristic aircraft to market The target for service by 2025 is “possible”, with a 50-75% chance of completing it.
Here’s a super quick behind-the-scenes video to give you a brief look at Midnight’s gleaming tilting propeller mechanism.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUGfLc45D8w (/embed)
Archer’s flight-ready Midnight eVTOL prototype
source: Archer Aviation