Advanced Air Mobility News

Archer Completes Wind Tunnel Test on Midnight Aircraft

Archer Completes Wind Tunnel Test on Midnight Aircraft

To gather data needed for future eVTOL aircraft validation and certification, Archer Aviation has completed a six-week wind tunnel test using its Midnight aircraft configuration.

The US-based eVTOL manufacturer conducted the test at the RUAG Large Subsonic Wind Tunnel in Switzerland, following previous campaigns carried out at Politecnico di Milan in Italy.

Focusing on the aerodynamics of the airframe, the 27.6% scale Midnight model was not powered during the testing process. The data collected will also be used to validate external load predictions, aircraft performance, stability and control characteristics, and performance degradation in icing conditions.

Archer conducted 878 tests using more than 400 model configurations which were built step by step from a bare wing or fuselage before adding booms, landing gear, tail, and lifter propellers. “This build-up approach allowed us to investigate and clearly understand the incremental effects of each airframe component,” said the company.

Archer described the tests as a “huge success” and said the cruise drag predictions trend turned out to be “extremely well” with the test data. “The results further reinforce our confidence in the capability and performance of the Midnight design,” Archer said.

While continuing to make progress on building facilities and new air taxi routes over the past months, Archer plans to test the effects of the propulsion system on aerodynamic performance for the next wind tunnel test.

In early March, the company said Midnight is almost completed with all the major aerostructures including the wing, tail and fuselage, having been constructed and assembled.

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