Quick Takes: Archer’s Midnight eVTOL takes flight

November 1, 2023 Written by; Aviation Seminars

Archer's Midnight eVTOL in first flight
Archer’s eVTOL Midnight in flight

In the realm of urban air mobility, the race to commercialize electric air taxis is becoming more exhilarating with each passing day. Among the notable players, Archer has been diligently working on its eVTOL (Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, the Midnight, which recently achieved a significant milestone in its journey towards transforming urban travel.

The recent flight of Archer’s Midnight eVTOL is not just a triumph of technology, but a testament to four years of rigorous flight testing that commenced in 2019. The heart of this testing phase was the Maker, Archer’s predecessor aircraft, which underwent two full years of full-scale flight testing. These years of meticulous work have paved the way for Midnight to transition from hover to full wing-borne flight, marking a crucial step towards commercialization.

Archer Aviation Co-Founder Adam Goldstein
Archer Co-Founder Adam Goldstein

Adam Goldstein, the founder and CEO of Archer, is exuberant about the advancement. He reflects on the journey by saying, “This next phase of Archer’s flight test program is only possible because of the four years of flight testing we’ve done. Midnight is building on the successes of its predecessor aircraft and represents another significant step forward in Archer’s path to commercialization. The next year and a half will be focused on continuing to rapidly advance our flight test program and Archer’s electric air taxi operations as we prepare to bring Midnight to market in 2025.”

The ongoing flight testing program is progressing at a brisk pace, with expectations that the Midnight’s flight envelope will transition swiftly from hover to full wing-borne flight. This swift progression is setting the stage for “for credit” testing with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) in the near future. Passing the FAA’s rigorous testing will edge Archer closer to bringing Midnight into service by 2025, making our dreams of hopping onto an air taxi for a quick, traffic-free commute closer to reality.

But that’s not all; Archer isn’t just stopping at the Midnight. Simultaneously, the Maker’s flight testing program is moving forward. By engaging in simulated commercial routes with both the Maker and Midnight, Archer is sharpening its operational readiness, inching closer to its ambitious goal of slashing the traditional 60-90-minute car commute down to a mere 10-20-minute electric air taxi jaunt.

The vision of electric air taxis is not just a whimsical fantasy; it’s a glimpse into a future where urban travel is quick, sustainable, and cost-effective. The Midnight, designed to carry four passengers and perform quick back-to-back flights with minimal charge time, is at the vanguard of this revolution. The narrative of Midnight’s journey from its final assembly in May, to ground testing, and now successful flight, encapsulates the vigorous endeavors of Archer towards obtaining FAA certification.

With each flight, Archer is not just testing an aircraft, but is bringing us one step closer to a new era of urban mobility. The promise of replacing long, tedious car commutes with swift, electric air taxi flights is not far from becoming our reality. As we anticipate the commercial launch of Midnight in 2025, the skies seem to be the next avenue for making our urban commuting dreams come true.

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