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PRESS RELEASE
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Archer completes Midnight’s transition flight, Midnight is Archer’s second full-scale eVTOL aircraft to achieve this milestone
Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Archer Aviation Inc., a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, today announced that on June 8th its Midnight aircraft successfully completed transition flying at a speed of 100+ mph. Archer has now achieved transition with two different full-scale eVTOL aircraft. Transition is well known in the industry as a very difficult milestone few companies have reached. At ~6,500 lbs, Midnight is believed to be one of the largest eVTOL aircraft to complete transition, which is critical to being able to carry commercially viable passenger payloads.

A transition flight occurs when the aircraft takes off vertically like a helicopter, accelerates forward, transitions from thrust-borne to wing-borne flight like an airplane with tilt propellers forward before decelerating and landing vertically.

“Transitioning two generations of full-scale eVTOL aircraft in less than 2 years is another remarkable achievement for Archer’s team. This shows we continue to successfully execute against our plan to create the most efficient path to market with an aircraft that is designed for certification and to be manufactured efficiently at scale,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO.

Midnight is now the 7th full-scale eVTOL aircraft that Archer’s CTO, Tom Muniz, and Chief Engineer, Dr. Geoff Bower, have successfully built and flown in their respective careers. Archer’s first generation full-scale eVTOL aircraft, Maker, successfully achieved transition in November, 2022, eleven months after its first flight, and still flies regularly in the company’s flight test program. Just seven months after Midnight’s first flight, Archer has now successfully transitioned its production eVTOL aircraft as the company continues to build momentum towards commercialization.

“Successfully completing the transition from hover to wing-borne flight with a full-scale eVTOL aircraft is a tremendous engineering feat that only a handful of companies in the world have achieved,” said Dr. Geoff Bower, Archer’s Chief Engineer. “Over the seven eVTOL aircraft I’ve built and flown in my career, they have gotten progressively larger as we pursued payloads that made the aircraft platform commercially viable. Midnight is believed to be one of the largest eVTOL aircraft ever to achieve transition and one of the first that is purpose built to carry enough passengers to be able to operate a successful air taxi business. I’m extremely proud of Archer’s team as we have now achieved this milestone with two generations of full-scale aircraft.”

Midnight’s flight test program will now continue its progress with plans to fly simulated commercial routes to demonstrate the aircraft’s operational readiness, executing high-rate flight operations, testing additional flight maneuvers that will be used in commercial settings along with continuing to expand its speed and endurance flight envelope.

Archer continues to make certification progress as the company has now received its Part 135 and Part 145 certificates from the FAA. Additionally, Archer is one of two companies in the world to have its final airworthiness criteria for an eVTOL aircraft issued by the FAA. Midnight is now in the final “implementation” phase of its Type Certification program with piloted flight testing on track to begin later this year.

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.

Contact details from our directory:
Archer Aviation Airframer
Related aircraft programs:
Archer Midnight