Archer Aviation has conducted the first transition flight on its Midnight electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, a milestone step for the vehicle’s development. 

The urban air mobility (UAM) company revealed that a recent test flight had seen its full-scale Midnight prototype start with a vertical takeoff and thrust-borne flight and transition to wing-borne flight in air before landing vertically again. 

The successful test flight, which reached speeds of around 100mph, marks the second time Archer has achieved transition flying with a full-scale eVTOL aircraft after its first-generation Maker aircraft completed the feat in November 2022. 

Geofff Bower, Archer’s chief engineer, said: “Successfully completing the transition from hover to wing-borne flight with a full-scale eVTOL aircraft is a tremendous engineering feat that only a handful of companies in the world have achieved.” 

Bower also highlighted the fact that the Midnight, which can carry a pilot and four passengers, was believed to be the largest eVTOL aircraft to have achieved the milestone. 

He added: “Over the seven eVTOL aircraft I’ve built and flown in my career, they have gotten progressively larger as we pursued payloads that made the aircraft platform commercially viable.” 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The unmanned flight is the latest milestone to be achieved by the Midnight aircraft, which recently became the second eVTOL aircraft to have a final airworthiness criteria published for it by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as it entered the final “implementation” phase of its certification process. 

Archer has also seen success for its wider operations after welcoming a Part 135 certificate from the FAA this month, allowing it to begin operating a commercial airline, that it will use to operate traditional aircraft to inform its processes ahead of Midnight’s commercial launch. 

Adam Goldstein, founder and CEO of Archer, highlighted the significant progress made by Archer in recent years, he said: “This shows we continue to successfully execute against our plan to create the most efficient path to market with an aircraft that is designed for certification and to be manufactured efficiently at scale.”

The company’s progress continues the rapid development of the UAM industry, which also recently included the publication of updated certification requirements for eVTOL aircraft by the FAA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The new type certification advisories published by the two regulatory agencies saw their respective requirements brought further in line as the two sides of the Atlantic work towards harmonising their eVTOL rules.