Archer Midnight conforming prototypes

Archer expects to begin assembly of the first three conforming Midnights in the coming weeks

Archer Aviation has revealed that the company will begin the final assembly of the first three conforming Midnight prototypes ‘in the coming weeks’. The three aircraft, which will be the first piloted examples, are expected to begin flight testing later this year before moving on to the FAA certification programme.

Meanwhile, Phase 2 testing of the company’s uncrewed prototype continues. Phase 2 testing is intended to explore the design’s performance out of the slow-speed hover regime, including transitions to and from wing-borne flight.

Commenting on the announcement, Archer CEO Adam Goldstein said: “The key to achieving FAA certification is flying a conforming aircraft. I believe we are positioned to be the first in the sector to do so. From day one, Archer’s strategy has been to build an aircraft that is certifiable and manufacturable at scale.”

While the announcement once again restated the company’s intention to ‘commercialise’ Midnight by the end of 2025, the statement made no mention of a certification date. A traditional definition of ‘commercialise’ – offering products for sale – would, presumably, mean that the former requires the latter, and as the average time from first flight to certification of even a legacy aircraft type is around 800 days, that 2025 target remains ambitious.

To read Archer completes Midnight Phase 1 testing, click HERE

Photo: Business Wire

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