Urban air mobility (UAM) startup Archer Aviation announced this week that its Maker electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has successfully completed its first hover flight. According to the company, the flight also included successful checks of the aircraft’s flight control system and the end-to-end close of flight software. Archer says it plans to pursue an “extensive” flight test campaign through 2022.
“Everything we’ve accomplished this year, every milestone hit and partnership struck, was all with one goal in mind: developing both an aircraft and a UAM ecosystem that could scale and change the face of intra-city travel,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer co-founder and co-CEO. “With our first hover flight now completed, we’re one major step closer to that goal and have proven that Archer can work at a fast pace without sacrificing safety or quality.”
Archer’s Maker eVTOL is an autonomous, two-seat demonstrator that is expected to be capable of traveling distances of up to 60 miles at a top speed of 150 MPH. Archer is aiming to unveil a piloted, four-seat “production-intent” model in 2023 and launch an aerial ridesharing service in late 2024. As previously reported by AVweb, United Airlines has plans to acquire 200 Archer eVTOLs once the aircraft meets the airline’s requirements.