Archer's futuristic Midnight air taxi completes phase 1 flight tests

Feb. 2, 2024
Three months after its first takeoff, the production-spec Midnight air taxi has finished the first phase of flight testing. With the release of a new video, Archer says it expects to fly this next-gen machine with human pilots on board this year, Loz Blain writes for New Atlas.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., - Currently sitting in fifth place on the AAM Reality Index – and with a bullet – Archer is making steady progress in its mission to get fully certified electric air taxis into commercial service by 2025. It's signed a couple of notable deals this month – one with Atlantic Aviation, around development of ground-based infrastructure in California, Florida, and New York City, and another with NASA to study and validate the safety of high-performance battery systems, Loz Blain writes for New AtlasContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

2 February 2024 - Archer’s Midnight aircraft finished the flight test phase in approximately three months, which is faster than Archer’s full-scale prototype aircraft - Maker. 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 step as the company pushes towards being production-ready. With these advancements, Midnight remains on track to complete its first full wing-borne transition flight and begin piloted “for credit” testing with the FAA later this year.

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.

“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 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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Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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