With commercial operations planned for 2025, Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft is set to transform urban air mobility (UAM) according to Adam Goldstein, the company’s founder and CEO. “A trip that might take you 60-90 minutes on the ground in a car, you can fly in just five or 10 minutes,” he explained.
Created to look like something out of a James Bond movie, the Midnight eVTOL has 12 propellers, can carry a pilot plus four passengers, and is designed with emotion at its heart. Goldstein explained, “Most planes are built from a very mathematical standpoint because you want to make them as aerodynamic as possible. But we had an ability to totally redefine what aircraft look like and so we decided to create a vehicle that had emotion, a vehicle that you want to touch, a vehicle that you want to ride in, a lot like how the automakers make cars today.”
Archer is deep in the certification process with the FAA in the USA and will begin testing a fleet of ‘conforming aircraft’ next year. “Every day we’ll be doing lots of flights, building up to thousands of flights on a monthly and quarterly basis, and going through all the checkpoints to prove that these vehicles are safe,” Goldstein added.
He is confident that commercial operations will begin within the next two years, especially with FAA administrator Billy Nolan leaving the administration to join Archer and demonstrate his belief in the UAM movement. “That was a huge step in showing the conviction that even the regulators have in the industry,” Goldstein enthused. “Because the vehicles are really cool, because they provide a really great experience, I think they will be adopted quickly and the demand will become global.”
Archer recently signed new contracts with the US Air Force with a total value of up to US$142m. The deal includes the delivery of up to six of Archer’s Midnight aircraft to the Air Force; the sharing of additional flight test data and certification related test reports; pilot training; and the development of maintenance and repair operations. Read more on the story here.