Archer Aviation has announced that it has completed what it calls Phase 1 testing of the Midnight eVTOL well ahead of the expected schedule. The company put the better-than-expected progress of the programme down to the data it had collected during the flight testing of the Maker concept aircraft. Phase 1 focused on tests in the hovering part of the flight envelope completing progressively more complex manoeuvres. Phase 2, which remains unmanned, will target increasing speeds with the goal of completing wing-borne flight transitions.

Archer said that the programme remains on track to complete Phase 2 and begin piloted tests, including FAA flight testing later this year even though the final form of the FAA’s eVTOL SFAR has yet to be published in its final form.

Commenting on the announcement, Archer CEO Adam Goldstein said, “Midnight is progressing efficiently through our flight test programme. Over the last four years of flight testing, our team has been able to gather a tremendous amount of data and learnings that enable us to advance Midnight rapidly towards certification.”

Photo: Archer Aviation

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