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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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Archer Aviation
Aircraft

Wisk Aero LLC
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Archer Midnight

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Archer accelerates its path to market
Archer has secured $215m from Stellantis, Boeing, United Airlines and Ark Invest; received an SAC from the FAA for its Midnight aircraft; and is on track to complete a first ever eVTOL aircraft customer delivery.
The Midnight aircraft has received its Special Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA and new funding puts it en route to first customer delivery.

Archer Aviation has received a $215 million equity investment from Stellantis, Boeing and United Airlines, as well as other financial institutions, increasing its total funding to over $1.1 billion to date.

“Over the last quarter, we've seen the US government make an unwavering commitment that America will lead the way in commercialising eVTOL aircraft. The FAA validated the timeline for eVTOL aircraft to begin operations in the US in 2025 and leaders in the mobility industry, Stellantis, United Airlines and Boeing, have come together to invest in Archer's future,” says CEO Adam Goldstein. “The pace at which our industry is advancing is unprecedented. Our team's hard work and dedication have brought us to this exciting moment, and we can't wait to see Midnight soar.”

The $215 million investment further strengthens Archer's liquidity. It includes an acceleration of $70 million from Stellantis under the strategic funding agreement entered into in January 2023, with $55 million remaining available under that facility. The commitment from Stellantis has been unrivalled says Archer, from its foresight to provide the manufacturing expertise and capital needed to accelerate the OEM’s business objectives to the strategic vision and steadfast support from CEO Carlos Tavares and chief engineering and technology officer Ned Curic.

The roster of investors from this latest funding round also includes United Airlines and industry giant Boeing, as well as other financial institutions, including ARK Invest. The funds from this round are intended to be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, including Archer's continued development of its aircraft and related technology, as well as the build out of its manufacturing and test facilities.

Additionally, Archer is on track to complete what it believes will be the first ever eVTOL aircraft delivery to a customer as part of a contract valued at up to $142 million with the US Department of Defense (DoD). This comes on the heels of the FAA administrator Billy Nolen leaving to join Archer and the DoD awarding Archer the largest total contract value of any eVTOL company.

The company has published its operating and financial results for the second quarter ended 30 June, 2023. A shareholder letter provides additional details along with its second quarter operating and financial results and third quarter 2023 estimates.

Boeing, Archer and Wisk have reached an agreement to enter into autonomous flight collaboration and to resolve the federal and state court litigation between them. Archer has agreed to make Wisk its exclusive provider of autonomy technology for future variants of Archer's aircraft. Boeing is making an investment in Archer that will support the integration of Wisk's autonomous technology in future variants of Archer's aircraft. This puts Archer in a position to be able to source autonomy technology from a leader in the industry. Over the long term, autonomy is seen as one of the keys to achieving scale across all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and beyond.

This strategic relationship will leverage each company's respective strengths and competencies, a natural extension of Archer's overall strategy of focusing its in-house research and development on the key enabling technologies that cannot be sourced from the existing aerospace supply base, thereby helping it potentially avoid hundreds of millions of dollars of spending.

The Midnight aircraft has received its Special Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA, indicating that it successfully met all FAA safety requirements and allowing it to begin flight test operations in coming weeks.

Archer continues to make strong progress on the Midnight's certification programme with the FAA in support of the company's planned entry into service in 2025. The company is readying to begin its piloted 'for credit' testing of the Midnight aircraft with the FAA in early 2024 and bring online a high volume eVTOL production facility in Covington, Georgia in mid-2024.

Other News
 
Archer's battery drop tests score a hit
April 3, 2024
Archer successfully completes multiple battery pack drop tests; one of the most challenging tests it is set to face as part of FAA's type certification programme.
Stellantis signals continued confidence in Archer with share purchase
March 21, 2024
Stellantis has upped its interest in Archer by around 8.3 million shares. The automaker is to mass produce the Midnight aircraft, and construction on the first phase of a manufacturing facility will be completed this year.
Archer starts build of three conforming, piloted aircraft
February 12, 2024
Component manufacturing is well under way, and final assembly of the first three conforming Midnight aircraft should begin soon. Part 145 certification will allow Archer to operate a repair and maintenance station.