The Archer Aviation Midnight takes its inaugural test flight
The Archer Aviation Midnight electric air taxi achieved a significant test program milestone on Wednesday, following the receipt of the special airworthiness certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Completing its inaugural test flight, the five seat aircraft finished an uncrewed flight for the first time.
“This next phase of Archer’s flight test program is only possible because of the four years of flight testing we’ve done,” said Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein. “Midnight is building on the successes of its predecessor aircraft and represents another significant step forward in Archer’s path to commercialization.”
The company will transition to piloted “for-credit” testing with the FAA utilizing a type-conforming Midnight model after unmanned flights. Archer anticipates that in early 2024, for-credit exams will begin.
The Archer Aviation Midnight electric air taxi has 12 rotors and runs entirely on batteries. It has a payload capacity of more than 1,000 pounds and can accommodate one pilot and four passengers. The aircraft is intended to conduct consecutive 20-mile flights with only 10-minute charging intervals in between.
At 2,000 feet, the noise level of the Archer Aviation Midnight is only 45 dB, which means that it’s 1,000 times quieter than a standard helicopter when cruising. With the expectation to progress from hover to full flight, Archer hopes to receive certification in 2024, with a commercial launch planned for 2025.
“The next year and a half will be focused on continuing to rapidly advance our flight test program and Archer’s electric air taxi operations as we prepare to bring Midnight to market in 2025,” added Goldstein.