Advanced Air Mobility News

Archer Unveils Midnight Production Aircraft

Archer Unveils Midnight Production Aircraft

San Jose-headquartered aerospace company Archer Aviation has unveiled its long-awaited production eVTOL, which it names Midnight.

The public unveiling, which took place at an open house event in Palo Alto, California on November 17, followed a demonstration flight of Archer’s eVTOL the day before. The aircraft, which has a wingspan of 47 feet and weighs almost 6,500 pounds, is larger than its previous iteration called Maker, which weighs in at 3,500 pounds and is 40 feet wide. Midnight has six stationary propellers on the back, which provide the aircraft with lift, while six tiltrotors at the front of the wing help the eVTOL to transition from hover to cruise flight.

Archer says its Midnight eVTOL has been designed to be safe, sustainable, quiet, and capable of carrying a payload of over 1,000 pounds, or a pilot plus four passengers. It will be able to cruise at 2,000 feet and, in terms of noise levels, will emit around 45 A-weighted decibels, which makes the aircraft around 1,000 times quieter than a helicopter.

The company, which recently announced a deal on November 10 to operate flight routes between Newark and New York in partnership with United Airlines, notes that Midnight will be optimized for back-to-back short 20-mile trips, with the ability to be charged in roughly 10 minutes in between.

The aerospace developer announced a partnership with Molicel, a lithium-ion battery supplier based in Taiwan, on November 16, noting that they have signed a memorandum of understanding for Molicel to manufacture and supply the battery cells for Midnight.

The eVTOL developer also reported that it has selected Swiss GPS and aviation technology company Garmin to supply Archer’s eVTOL with its G3000 integrated flight deck, which will be used to control the aircraft.

Archer is working to certify Midnight in late 2024 with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with the aim of launching it in 2025. The company aims to produce up to 650 aircraft a year in its new manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia, and expand production to build up to 2,300 eVTOLs a year.

Though Archer is one of many eVTOL companies vying for FAA certification, and competes with developers such as Joby Aviation, Lilium, Vertical Aerospace, and Volocopter, to name a few, its Founder and Chief Executive Officer Adam Goldstein believes that the company will be the first company to get certified.

“From day one Archer’s strategy has always been about finding the most efficient path to commercializing eVTOL aircraft,” said Goldstein. “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.”