Archer Reports Success With Battery-Pack Drop Testing


Archer Aviation, developer of the Midnight electric vertical takeoff and land (eVTOL) aircraft, reported today it has successfully completed battery-pack drop tests. Archer considers the milestone a major step toward similar “for credit” testing with the FAA.

At the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) the batteries were dropped from 50 feet to simulate “extreme impact scenarios.” Packs were dropped at 100%, 30% and 0% charge state. Archer reports that the batteries not only passed the tests but were still functional after the drops. Archer said its decision to opt for cylindrical battery cells within the proprietary battery pack configuration was a large factor in the success of the tests.

Archer’s stated goal is to replace 60- to 90-minute automobile commutes with 10- to 20-minute electric air taxi flights that are quiet, safe, sustainable and “cost-competitive with ground transportation.”

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. sustainable = conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources,
    In Archer’s case it’s sort of sustainable, in the sense that it’s avoiding the direct consumption of fossil fuels (even if it is using other natural resources).

  2. Putting the sustainability issues aside, I still don’t understand where they are going to find the pilots to fly all of these types of aircraft or, are they not going to have pilots on board?

  3. Sustainability and piloting issues aside, what city is honestly going to start opening vertiports with the goal of dozens (hundreds?) of these whizzing a few hundred feet overhead their citizens at all hours of the day and night?

    • What city wouldn’t impose operational limits (frequency, times, etc.) before approving the project?

      (BTW, their initial test route will be between an airport and an existing heliport in downtown NYC.)

  4. I see all this working better in underdeveloped countries where the road infrastructure is poorly developed and crowded with the “riff raff”. They also would have much less of a problem with airspace congestion because of the low number of private aircraft. Third world countries have plenty of very wealthy people who live in segregated compounds where a community vertiport would be an option.

    • If you live in a compound in an underdeveloped country you already have a helicopter and really don’t give a damn about some EV aerial battery box that’s going to do nothing but complicate your life. The whole concept is a fricking joke that no one wants to admit. Let them have their fun while rich green tree Huggies throw green money at them until they run out. At least it’s entertaining to watch.

  5. Just can’t see its value as a very short range commuter machine. The thousands of helicopters do it all and better although doing it with a gas engine. I think they will get a nod of appreciation, “but, no not for me.” Being kinda more green is not going to convince. And that’s all they do different except needing much more daily servicing for electricity. Guess it has to start somewhere though.

    • Well, Roger we really don’t know yet whether a fuel-burning helicopter does it “better” or not at this point since none of these are in regular service yet. Only time will tell. I agree that I won’t be standing in line for one, but it should be fun to watch. Lots of things to be worked out, both in the machines and in the operating environment.