Archer Aviation unveiled the design of its production aircraft named Midnight at an open house event in California, USA last week.
Midnight is an evolution of Archer’s demonstrator eVTOL aircraft Maker, which can be seen in the video above before the reveal of Midnight. Maker made its first flight in December last year.
The company said the flight test program is “on schedule” and expects to complete a full transition flight in the coming weeks.
The five-seater Midnight eVTOL aircraft uses a proprietary twelve-tilt-six propeller configuration and has been developed for short distance trips of around 20 miles (32km) with a charging time of approximately 10 minutes in-between.
Archer plans to certify Midnight with the FAA during “late 2024” and then operate it within an urban air mobility (UAM) network it plans to launch in 2025.
Adam Goldstein, Archer’s Founder and CEO said, “From day one Archer’s strategy has always been about finding the most efficient path to commercializing eVTOL aircraft.
“We believe our strategy and team’s ability to execute on it has allowed us to establish our leadership position in the market and is why we are confident we will be the first company to certify an eVTOL aircraft in the US with the FAA.”
Archer completed Midnight’s preliminary design review in August and began working towards Type Certification.
Transition from vertical to horizontal flight is a key milestone in any eVTOL aircraft’s development program because it demonstrates a number of key systems, such as power and flight control and validates the flight physics of the design.
The company said that Maker’s flight test program had generated invaluable data that has been used in the development and certification path of Midnight.
“We continue the push towards commercialization, with the vast majority of our resources focused on completing the development and certification of Midnight, building out our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities and hardening our go-to-market plans,” said Mark Mesler, Archer’s CFO.