Archer Aviation given FAA’s airworthiness criteria for Midnight eVTOL aircraft

Archer Aviation Midnight eVTOL
Archer Aviation

In a major milestone, Archer Aviation has received the final airworthiness criteria for its electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft Midnight from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  

The airworthiness criteria, published on May 24, 2024, set out the direction in which Archer must now travel to achieve Type Certification and eventually transport paying passengers. 

“The FAA announces the special class airworthiness criteria for the Archer Aviation, Inc. This document sets forth the airworthiness criteria the FAA finds to be appropriate and applicable for the powered-lift design,” the FAA airworthiness criteria read.  

Archer has become only the second eVTOL aircraft developer to receive final airworthiness criteria. Joby Aviation were provided with similar documentation in March 2024.  

The finalization of Archer’s airworthiness criteria unlocks the ability for Archer to work with the FAA to obtain the remaining final approvals on its certification and test plans. 

This is a critical step as Archer continues to ramp up its ‘for credit’ testing with the FAA and prepares to begin its piloted flight testing later this year. 

“Midnight is one giant step closer to taking passengers into the sky in the coming years in the U.S. The final airworthiness criteria for Midnight are an important step on our journey to make electric flying taxis an everyday reality,” Billy Nolen, Archer Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer and former Administrator of the FAA, said. “Thank you to the team at the FAA for their continued hard work in support of making the electrification of aviation a reality.” 

Archer has made significant progress on the construction of its first three piloted conforming Midnight aircraft.  

The first aircraft in this initial fleet will begin piloted flight testing later this year, and subsequently be used in ‘for credit’ flight testing with the FAA as the company progresses towards commercialization. 

Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60–90-minute commutes by car with estimated 10-20 minute flights that are safe, sustainable, low-noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation.  

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