Archer Plans Final Assembly On Conforming Airframes In ‘Coming Weeks’


Urban air mobility hopeful Archer Aviation announced today (Feb. 7) that final assembly on three conforming examples of its Midnight eVTOL aircraft is set to begin in the coming weeks. Piloted flight testing is expected to begin later this year. “For credit” FAA flight testing toward commercialization of the Midnight will use the three airframes.

The Midnight design incorporates six independent battery packs, each powering a pair of electric motors with vertical rotors that swing to horizontal position for cruise flight. While Archer expects the 150-mph Midnight to have a range of 100 miles, it is targeting 20- to 50-mile flights with quick-charge turnarounds of as little as 12 minutes between sorties. Operating costs are expected to be competitive with surface transportation, according to Archer, with each piloted aircraft carrying up to four passengers and luggage.

Archer Founder and CEO Adam Goldstein said, “The key to achieving FAA certification is flying a conforming aircraft. I believe we are positioned to be the first in the sector to do so. From day one, Archer’s strategy has been to build an aircraft that is certifiable and manufacturable at scale. This focus is what has allowed us to move quicker and more efficiently than any other company in the industry over the last few years.”

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.


  1. “Operating costs are expected to be competitive with surface transportation”
    I’m getting tired of that bald faced lie.

      • Their FAQs are more realistic on their claims, comparing it to a ‘ride share’ to and from an airport and a dense metropolitan destination such as a United terminal at Newark International and an existing heliport on Manhattan Island.

        But the comparison is unrealistic, as no ground transport will get you there in ten minutes.

        – Newark

        • Can you imagine the frequency congestion when streams of new electric helicopters are entering and leaving Newark International?

          • No, I really can’t. Nor can I imagine the impact on existing heliports.

            On the other hand, I am not an expert nor even a pro in that industry – but wouldn’t Newark have access to such pros? Isn’t United (and other operators) already limited as to how much traffic they can generate??

  2. As many of our commenters have assured us all, these things will never be able to fly for long enough to go anywhere if they fly at all.

    Why would there need to be concern with costs? It’s all a big ruse. I read it here.

    • “Why would there need to be concern with costs?”
      Because companies (like these) keep lying about costs.
      When companies outright lie to get money from people then it should be a concern (or at least pointed out as such in the free press).

    • battery density keeps rising every year, no one is going to wait till the batteries are ready to start developing air frames when certification takes decades