Advanced air mobility startup Archer Aviation has announced that the company’s Midnight electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has successfully completed Phase 1 of its flight test campaign.
In a statement issued on January 30, 2024, Archer confirmed that the first stage of the program, an essential step towards certification of the four-seater aircraft, lasted around three months.
The firm attributed the shorter than anticipated testing period to the experience and data collected in the early stages of its aircraft development program, including during the testing of a smaller aircraft prototype called “Maker”.
Archer’s Midnight aircraft is now on track to move onto Phase 2 of its flight-testing program, which will include wing-borne transition flights. This is a maneuver by which the aircraft transitions in-flight between vertical take-off and landing and horizontal, cruise flight.
Archer will also perform incremental flight speed tests, which will bring Midnight closer to the edge of its technological envelope, as well as piloted tests for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
If Phase 2 is successfully completed, Archer will then move to Phase 3, which will involve simulated commercial operations between two points under near-real conditions.
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