Archer, Atlantic Sign MOU On eVTOL Infrastructure Initiative

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FBO chain Atlantic Aviation has teamed with eVTOL developer Archer Aviation, signing a memorandum of understanding to establish infrastructure for electric aircraft at Atlantic’s locations. The MOU covers four launch markets in the Atlantic network of more than 100 FBOs.

Archer hopes to replace 60- to 90-minute automobile trips with 10- to 20-minute flights in electric air taxis, starting with its Midnight—a four-passenger, piloted aircraft. The goal is to enable flights that are “safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation.” Archer’s Midnight is being developed with an eye toward quick-turn flights with minimal charge time required.

The companies will use interoperable rapid charging hardware from Beta Technologies. The charging systems use the Combined Charging System (CCS) favored by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, according to reports. The launch is expected to yield operative charging stations at Atlantic locations as early as next year.

Nikhil Goel, chief commercial officer for Archer, said, “These initial eVTOL vertiport locations will provide a launching pad for future expansion across Atlantic’s portfolio and ensure that our Midnight aircraft has safe, centrally located landing facilities for our future passengers.”

John Redcay, Atlantic Aviation chief commercial and sustainability officer, said, “We are impressed with Archer’s technology and suite of world-class partners including United Airlines [and] we are excited to work together to electrify our aviation assets to enable quiet and sustainable urban air travel in cities across the U.S.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I remember when I was told, loudly and continuously, by every eVTOL wanne-be, that all I would have to do in the immediate future is request eVOTL service using my smartphone app, wait 15 minutes or so, hop into whatever landed next to me and, in the worlds of Ellen Ripley, “punch it”. And it would cost the same as a taxi.

    Now I am hearing about vertiport infrastructures, networks, and, elsewhere, vertiport fees of potentially $400 per eVTOL movement. If this does, if fact, happen one day, then I wait for the inevitable ATC changes that will be required to deal with this new, slow, low-altitude commercial traffic, and the additional taxes (sorry… fees) that the state will impose for what will inevitably be charged as an extra service.

    Regrettably, I believe that the reality is that a commercial passenger market does not exist for current eVTOL technologies and emerging infrastructure proposals, and that driving will be shown to be the best option for most civil journeys of less than a few hundred km, even with an EV and taking into account the increased costs of EVs once subsidies are removed, and even with the extended charging times of their aging battery systems.

    All of this is just too bad; I was looking forward to my flying pod. I hope that eVTOL manufacturers are looking for markets other than commercial passenger traffic in order to deflect, or at best defer, any legal actions that investors may initiate due to the lackadaisical due-diligence processes of those that solicited their money.

  2. “We are impressed with Archer’s technology and suite of world-class partners including United Airlines….”. United Airlines? We know now what sort of people will be sitting in these coal-powered Rube Goldbergs. Free Kool-Aid will be served during “flights”.

  3. 60 to 90 minutes reduced to 10 to 20 minutes. Travel time, yes. Reality, never. This service will be economically viable in high population density areas, which will most likely have airports with, yes, high plane density. So the trip is quick – waiting your place with ATC, ground prep, etc, I fear much longer!

  4. I can’t wait to hear the turnaround time for charging the batteries. I wonder if they will use diesel powered generators to help offload the power grid at the airport??? More smoke and mirrors, oh yes and my tax dollars to support it.

  5. Another case of “using a sledge hammer to drive a tack”. Does anyone remember Rube Goldberg–the cartoonist that dreamed up very complex and improbable machines and “answers” to simple problems?

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