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Flight systems team propels Archer to hover
Archer’s flight control and software team will focus on the fly-by-wire system that allows for operator control of the aircraft. They join as Maker undergoes final preparations for its first hover flight later this year.
The first hover flight of Maker, Archer Aviation's eVTOL aircraft, is expected later this year.

AeVTOL developer Archer Aviation has put together a flight control and software team as it moves towards the first flight of its Maker aircraft later this year. Sergio Ferreira will lead the company's fly-by-wire flight control system development; Damien Bardon becomes director of vehicle management systems; and Perrine Mathieu will lead on the flight controls and avionics programme.

Ferreira brings two decades of experience developing, integrating, validating, verifying and certifying fly-by-wire flight control systems. He joins Archer after nearly 10 years with Gulfstream Aerospace, where most recently he was the flight control systems lead for advanced aircraft systems. Previously he was flight control systems lead for the Gulfstream G400, G500 and G600 fly-by-wire flight control systems.

“This is an exciting time for Archer and the broader aviation industry. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work on the flight control system that will undergird the entire aircraft and usher in the future of air travel,” says Ferreira. “Fly-by-wire systems leverage computational power and electronics to simplify operation and reduce pilot workload. At the same time, they provide protection functions, allowing us to design an aircraft as safe as it is innovative. Through Archer, I'm looking forward to pushing the industry forward as we look towards the transportation of tomorrow.”

Damien Bardon, one of Archer's earliest employees, will lead the flight control and software team in the development of the essential aircraft components that enable control of the aircraft. Prior to his time with Archer, he spent several years at ACubed, Airbus' Silicon Valley innovation centre, leading avionics development for the Vahana eVTOL demonstrator from an early concept up to the completion of a successful flight test campaign. He has significant experience working with avionics components around navigation, communication, flight controls, embedded flight software and other complex aircraft systems that make fly-by-wire flight controls possible.

“It's a privilege to be a part of a company like Archer that is paving the way for urban air mobility,” says Bardon. “Our work developing and implementing the systems that ultimately control the aircraft will be critical towards achieving first flight and other milestones.”

Rounding out the flight control and software team is flight controls and avionics programme lead Perrine Mathieu. She will work alongside Bardon, Ferreira and the broader team and will be accountable for the development and implementation of the fly-by-wire flight control system of Archer's production aircraft. Most recently she was responsible for vehicle management systems at Bell, where she led the development and implementation of software development, flight controls, avionics, electrical systems and handling qualities across several platforms. Prior to her time at Bell, Mathieu worked as a design engineer for Triumph Aerostructures in the Vought Aircraft Division.

“It is an incredible opportunity to work with a team that is so full of talent and experience, I am excited to contribute to the development of the aircraft and the industry as a whole,” says Mathieu.

Archer co-founder and co-CEO Brett Adcock notes: “In the last year, Archer has hired some of the best and brightest from the aviation community to transform how we move around cities. It's thanks to this team that we've accomplished so much in such a short time, and sit at the precipice of achieving our next milestone, first flight.”

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After receiving its MIDO CoA and Aircraft Limitations from the FAA a few weeks ago, Archer has now received a special airworthiness certificate for off-ground operations, a key step in the development process.