US-based Archer Aviation has received a $10 million pre-delivery payment from United Airlines for 100 electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOLs). 

The downpayment “represents a watershed moment for the eVTOL industry”, the manufacturer said in a press release dated August 10, 2022.  

“The payment represents a watershed moment for the eVTOL industry, validating confidence in the commercialization of eVTOL aircraft and Archer’s leadership,” the statement continued.  

The manufacturer recently completed its production aircraft’s Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and aims to proceed further with aircraft development and commercialization.  

Archer eVTOL aircraftArcher Aviation

“The PDR is a meticulous review of the aircraft design to ensure the program is on track and the design is mature enough to proceed to the next development phase and to kick-off of production of long lead time hardware,” the manufacturer explained. “The PDR lays out all aspects of the aircraft’s specifications and manufacturing requirements, necessary pre-conditions for determinations that the design is feasible for regulatory compliance and viable to bring to market.” 

While focused on aviation's goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, United Airlines also aims to become the first air carrier in the US to introduce eVTOL aircraft into commercial passenger services. 

Archer Aviation’s Maker electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) demonstrator has completed its first hover flight.

“We believe eVTOLs have the potential to both help achieve carbon-neutral travel and serve as an innovative new tool to change how United customers experience comfort, convenience, and efficiency during their commutes within cities across the globe,” United Airlines executive, Michael Leskinen, said. 

The Chicago-based airline committed to purchase all-electric aircraft in 2021. 

The Farnborough Airshow offers a good chance to catch up with the progress of the air taxi market. AeroTime looks ahead to the event.