Archer’s Midnight aircraft successfully completes phase 1 of flight test program

Archer Aviation Inc. has announced that the company’s Midnight aircraft has hit another key milestone with completion of Phase 1 of its flight test program.

Utilizing learnings from the previous four years of flight testing, Archer’s Midnight aircraft finished the flight test phase in approximately three months, which is significantly faster than Archer’s full-scale prototype aircraft – Maker.

Additionally, Midnight’s battery system has recently been upgraded to include some of the first high voltage battery packs off of Archer’s manufacturing line at its San Jose, California facilities, a significant step as the company pushes towards being production-ready.

With these advancements, Midnight remains firmly on track to complete its first full wing-borne transition flight and begin piloted “for credit” testing with the FAA later this year.

Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO, said: “Midnight is progressing efficiently through our flight test program,” .

“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.

“Our team’s focus on safety and relentless execution has gotten us to where we are today and is what will allow us to achieve what no other company in the world has done to date – bring electric air taxis to cities across the U.S. and the globe.”

Phase 1 of Midnight’s flight test program covered an array of progressively more complex flight maneuvers and data gathering missions.

Midnight’s flight envelope will now expand further as it moves into Phase 2, which involves an incremental approach to speed testing.

This means that the aircraft will continue to fly at greater and greater speeds until it achieves full wing-borne transition.

Transition is an important milestone for any vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, as it demonstrates in a single flight the capability to both takeoff and land vertically and cruise efficiently in wingborne flight.

Once that’s completed, the aircraft will move to Phase 3, which entails flying simulated commercial routes to demonstrate the aircraft’s operational readiness.