Archer unveils its production aircraft, an electric VTOL called Midnight

  • Midnight is the evolution of Archer’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Maker validating its proprietary 12-tilt and 6-tilt configuration and key technologies.
  • Midnight is designed to be safe, sustainable, quiet and capable of carrying four passengers plus a pilot.
  • Midnight will have an expected payload of over 1,000 pounds and will be optimized for consecutive 20-mile trips with a charge time of around 10 minutes in between
  • Archer is working to certify Midnight with the FAA in late 2024 and will then use it as part of its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) network, which Archer plans to launch in 2025.
  • Archer introduced Midnight at its open house event, which provided further details on the aircraft’s specifications and capabilities, including its proprietary electric powertrain system.

Archer Aviation Inc., a leader in eVTOL aircraft, today unveiled its production Midnight, a four-passenger eVTOL aircraft, during its Open House event in Palo Alto, California. Midnight is the evolution of Archer’s Maker eVTOL demonstrator aircraft, which has validated its proprietary twelve pitch six configuration and key technologies.

Safe, sustainable and quiet, Midnight can carry four passengers plus a pilot with its expected payload of over 1,000 pounds. Midnight is optimized for consecutive short trips of about 20 miles with a charge time of about 10 minutes in between. Archer is working to certify Midnight with the FAA in late 2024 and will then use it as part of its UAM network, scheduled to launch in 2025.

From day one, Archer’s strategy has always been to find the most efficient way to commercialize eVTOL aircraftsaid Adam Goldstein, Founder and CEO of Archer. “We believe our strategy and our team’s ability to execute it has allowed us to establish our leadership position in the market and are therefore confident that we will be the first company to launch an eVTOL aircraft in the United States will be certified by the FAA.

Archer’s unique approach to Midnight’s design focuses on combining high function and high emotion, inspiring passengers to want to experience it, similar to the sentiment evoked in this country during the golden age of aviation in the 1950s. Archer is confident that Midnight will lead the way in this new era of vertical flight. Midnight combines the latest electric propulsion technology with state-of-the-art aircraft systems to provide the key attributes of our eVTOL aircraft:

  • security. High redundancy and simplified propulsion systems ensure a much safer aircraft compared to a helicopter. Midnight has no single critical failure points, meaning the plane can still safely complete its flight if a single component fails. Additionally, the electric motors used in Midnight have significantly fewer moving parts than those in a gas turbine or piston engine, allowing for lower-maintenance operation and lower overall risk.
  • Little noise. Designed to fly at approximately 2,000 feet, Midnight is designed so that the noise reaching the ground is expected to measure approximately 45 A-weighted decibels (dBA), nearly 1,000 times quieter than that of a helicopter. During forward flight, the aircraft’s pitch propellers rotate on axes aligned with the oncoming airflow, rather than edge-to-edge with the flow as is the case with conventional helicopters – further reducing noise levels. Because Archer 12’s plane spins small propellers instead of one large rotor, it can also spin them at significantly lower tip speeds, resulting in a much lower noise level.
  • Consistent. Midnight is fully electric, resulting in zero operational emissions. Archer is committed to sourcing renewable energy to power its aircraft wherever possible. Archer’s design and engineering teams have worked tirelessly to incorporate materials into this aircraft that have their own unique sustainability stories. For example, Midnight’s seats are made from “flax” fibre, a natural plant that requires very little watering and is a strong absorber of CO2. In addition, Archer uses fabrics made from recycled materials such as plastic bottles for its design.

We continue to push toward commercialization, with the vast majority of our resources focused on completing the development and certification of Midnight, expanding our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, and strengthening our go-to-market planssaid Mark Mesler, Archer’s CFO.

In August, Archer completed Midnight’s preliminary design review, which covered all aspects of the aircraft’s specifications and manufacturing requirements, determining the design’s suitability for type certification and commercialization.

Archer has also made rapid progress with Maker’s flight test program and is scheduled to complete a full transition flight in the coming weeks, just 12 months after its first hover. Achieving this milestone will further validate the flight physics of Archer’s proprietary twelve-tilt-six configuration used on both Maker and Midnight, as well as a number of key technologies, such as the aircraft’s flight control system. The Maker flight test program generated invaluable data that Archer used in Midnight’s development and certification path.

SANTA CLARA, CA, November 17, 2022

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