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Archer’s Midnight eVTOL “completes 100+mph transition flight test”

Archer Aviation today announced that on June its Midnight aircraft successfully completed transition flying (video linked here) at a speed of 100+ mph.

“Archer has now achieved transition with two different full-scale eVTOL aircraft,” said the company in a press statement. “Transition is well known in the industry as a very difficult milestone few companies have reached. At ~6,500 lbs, 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 airplane with tilt propellers forward before decelerating and landing vertically. 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, eleven months after its first flight, and still flies regularly in the company’s flight test program. 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 commercialization.

“Midnight’s flight test program 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 maneuvers 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. Midnight is now in the final “implementation” phase of its Type Certification program with piloted flight testing on track to begin later this year.”

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