Safran and Archer progress eVTOL avionics testing


Safran Electronic and Defence and USA-based Archer have reported progress on the testing of the avionics for the Midnight eVTOL aircraft.

The partnership, which started in 2021 has so far focused on the development and testing on Safran Electronics and Defense’s ultra-compact avionics platform (UCAP) flight control computer (FCC) and SkyNaute navigation system for Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft.

Midnight is a piloted, four-passenger eVTOL aircraft with a range of up to 100 miles (160km) and an expected payload of approximately 1,000lbs. Archer plans to certify Midnight with the FAA in “late 2024” and then operate it within an urban air mobility (UAM) network it plans to launch in 2025.

The eVTOL aircraft has recently been tested at the RUAG Large Subsonic Wind Tunnel in Emmen, Switzerland.

Archer’s said its use of Safran Electronics and Defense’s UCAP FCC and SkyNaute navigation system is a key part of achieving certification.

The UCAP is equipped with a powerful multi-core processor and can provide high-performance computing capabilities and high-integrity and safety features. SkyNaute adheres uses mature and proven technologies such as HRG Crystal (Hemispherical Resonator Gyroscopes) which the company says is 35% smaller and lighter than alternatives.

Franck Saudo, Safran Electronics and defense CEO said, “These successful achievements with UCAP flight computer and SkyNaute navigation system help to pave the way for the entry into service of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Archer as we support their certification program.”

Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO said, “Our collaboration speaks volumes to the confidence Safran has in our path towards certification and commercialization in 2025.

“Lending their world-class expertise and support alongside our design and engineering teams is a critical component to our success and together we will redefine the future of air mobility.”

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