Feb 1, 2024
--Archer's Midnight aircraft successfully advances through Phase 1 of its flight test program in only 3 months
--Midnight's battery system was recently upgraded to include some of the first high voltage battery packs off of Archer's manufacturing line at its San Jose, California facilities
--The program continues to make rapid progress as it advances toward the planned full wing-borne transition flight in Phase 2
--Archer's Midnight certification program remains on track to begin piloted "for credit" testing with the FAA later this year
SANTA CLARA, CA, JANUARY 31, 2024 - Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR), a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced today that the company’s Midnight aircraft has hit another key milestone with completion of Phase 1 of its flight test program. Utilizing learnings from the previous four years of flight testing, Archer’s Midnight aircraft finished the flight test phase in approximately three months, which is significantly faster than Archer’s full-scale prototype aircraft - Maker. Additionally, Midnight’s battery system has recently been upgraded to include some of the first high voltage battery packs off of Archer’s manufacturing line at its San Jose, California facilities, a significant step as the company pushes towards being production-ready. With these advancements, Midnight remains firmly on track to complete its first full wing-borne transition flight and begin piloted “for credit” testing with the FAA later this year.
“Midnight is progressing efficiently through our flight test program,” said Archer’s founder and CEO Adam Goldstein. “Over the last four years of flight testing, our team has been able to gather a tremendous amount of data and learnings that enable us to advance Midnight rapidly towards certification. Our team’s focus on safety and relentless execution has gotten us to where we are today and is what will allow us to achieve what no other company in the world has done to date - bring electric air taxis to cities across the U.S. and the globe.”
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Phase 1 of Midnight’s flight test program covered an array of progressively more complex flight maneuvers and data gathering missions. Midnight’s flight envelope will now expand further as it moves into Phase 2, which involves an incremental approach to speed testing. This means that the aircraft will continue to fly at greater and greater speeds until it achieves full wing-borne transition. Transition is an important milestone for any vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, as it demonstrates in a single flight the capability to both takeoff and land vertically and cruise efficiently in wingborne flight. Once that’s completed, the aircraft will move to Phase 3, which entails flying simulated commercial routes to demonstrate the aircraft’s operational readiness.
Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60–90-minute commutes by car with estimated 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation. Archer’s Midnight is a piloted, four-passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time between flights.