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Archer Aviation
Aircraft

Archer Midnight

BAN's World Gazetteer

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Archer's Midnight achieves transition
Just seven months after Midnight's first flight, Archer has now successfully transitioned its production eVTOL aircraft as the company continues to build momentum towards commercialisation.
Midnight has gone from vertical lift to forward flight, one of the heaviest eVTOLs to do so.

On 8 June, Archer's Midnight aircraft successfully completed transition flying at a speed of over 100mph. Archer has now achieved transition with two different full-scale eVTOL aircraft. Transition is well known in the industry as a very difficult milestone that few companies have reached. At around 6,500lbs, the Midnight is believed to be one of the largest eVTOL aircraft to complete transition, which is critical to being able to carry commercially viable passenger payloads.

A transition flight occurs when the aircraft takes off vertically like a helicopter, accelerates forward, transitions from thrust-borne to wing-borne flight like an aircraft with tilt propellers forward, before decelerating and landing vertically.

"Transitioning two generations of full-scale eVTOL aircraft in less than two years is another remarkable achievement for Archer's team. This shows we continue to successfully execute against our plan to create the most efficient path to market with an aircraft that is designed for certification and to be manufactured efficiently at scale," says founder and CEO Adam Goldstein.

The Midnight is now the seventh full-scale eVTOL aircraft that Archer's CTO, Tom Muniz, and chief engineer, Dr Geoff Bower, have successfully built and flown in their respective careers. Archer's first generation full-scale eVTOL aircraft, Maker, successfully achieved transition in November 2022, 11 months after its first flight, and still flies regularly in the company's flight test programme. Just seven months after Midnight's first flight, Archer has now successfully transitioned its production eVTOL aircraft as the company continues to build momentum towards commercialisation.

"Successfully completing the transition from hover to wing-borne flight with a full-scale eVTOL aircraft is a tremendous engineering feat that only a handful of companies in the world have achieved," says Bower. "Over the seven eVTOL aircraft I've built and flown in my career, they have gotten progressively larger as we pursued payloads that made the aircraft platform commercially viable. Midnight is believed to be one of the largest eVTOL aircraft ever to achieve transition and one of the first that is purpose built to carry enough passengers to be able to operate a successful air taxi business. I'm extremely proud of Archer's team as we have now achieved this milestone with two generations of full-scale aircraft."

The Midnight's flight test programme will now continue its progress with plans to fly simulated commercial routes to demonstrate the aircraft's operational readiness, executing high-rate flight operations, testing additional flight manoeuvres that will be used in commercial settings along with continuing to expand its speed and endurance flight envelope.

Archer continues to make certification progress as the company has now received its Part 135 and Part 145 certificates from the FAA. Additionally, Archer is one of two companies in the world to have its final airworthiness criteria for an eVTOL aircraft issued by the FAA. The Midnight is now in the final implementation phase of its type certification programme with piloted flight testing on track to begin later this year.

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