Advanced air mobility startup Archer has flown its Midnight electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) prototype for the first time.
While the four-seater Midnight is Archer’s flagship eVTOL, the test flight, which took place on October 25, 2023, follows a two-year flight test program with a smaller, two-seat technology demonstrator called Maker.
The firm plans to continue flight testing both eVTOL aircraft models in parallel.
In the coming months, Archer is also expected to test the transition from vertical to horizontal flight, using Midnight’s wing-mounted tilt-rotors, which will allow it to operate alternately as a rotorcraft and as a fixed-winged aircraft.
Archer, which displayed a full-sale mockup of the Midnight at the 2023 edition of the Paris Air Show, expects the Midnight eVTOL to be market-ready by 2025.
By 2026, if it is certified by then, Archer’s Midnight eVTOL could see its first commercial deployment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country with which the startup has financial links.
In addition to having Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, as an investor, Archer signed a partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) on October 16, 2023, in order to establish an operational and industrial base in the emirate.