Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Archer Aviation has announced that its Midnight eVTOL aircraft has hit key certification milestones.

The FAA recently started to approve Archer’s certification plans for its Midnight production aircraft and issued its first Midnight aircraft a Special Airworthiness Certificate, allowing it to begin flight test operations.

These achievements pave the way for Archer to start “for credit” testing of piloted Midnight aircraft, which is expected in early 2024.

Archer’s approach to aircraft development and certification with the FAA has kept the company’s certification programme on schedule.

The company said it was leaning on the strong safety, certification and manufacturing track record of its suppliers, including the likes of Honeywell, Garmin, and Safran, for key aircraft components that are used throughout Midnight.

Archer’s Midnight milestones

Archer’s strategy is yielding a significantly simpler and more focused scope of certification work to complete in the “implementation” phase of Midnight’s certification programme, than if Archer had chosen to develop all of the core aircraft components and systems in house.

This intentional strategy has allowed Archer’s team to advance efficiently through its certification program to date, which Archer believes positions it to progress through the final “for credit” phase of the FAA’s Type Certification process even more efficiently.

‘Efficient path to market’

“With each passing quarter and each milestone hit on schedule, we continue to prove our steadfast strategy and execute on our goal of achieving the most efficient path to market – optimising our aircraft for certification, manufacturing, and commercial operation,” said Archer chief operating officer, Tom Muniz.

“Needless to say, our strategy is paying off and we thank the FAA for their team’s ongoing collaboration with Archer to provide the right framework to certify our eVTOL aircraft and safely integrate them into the national airspace.”
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