Archer Aviation has announced that its Midnight electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has now met all Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) safety requirements to begin flight test operations.

The FAA recently issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate for Archer’s first Midnight aircraft and has thus begun approving the manufacturer’s certification plans.

After Archer recently received FAA Certificate to begin "for credit" testing of its Midnight aircraft
After Archer recently received FAA Certificate to begin “for credit” testing of its Midnight aircraft

This development paves the way for Archer to start “for credit” testing of its piloted Midnight aircraft. This process is expected to commence in early 2024 following the completion of Archer’s ongoing company tests at its facility in Salinas, California.

Archer Chief Operating Officer, Tom Muniz said:

With each passing quarter and each milestone hit on schedule, we continue to prove our steadfast strategy and execute on our goal of achieving the most efficient path to market – optimising our aircraft for certification, manufacturing, and commercial operation. Needless to say, our strategy is paying off and we thank the FAA for their team’s ongoing collaboration with Archer to provide the right framework to certify our eVTOL aircraft and safely integrate them into the national airspace.

With this approval, Archer’s certification plan remains on schedule, paving the way for its Midnight aircraft to be the first eVTOL aircraft delivered to a customer.

It follows Archer’s recent contracts with AFWERX to supply its Midnight aircraft to the US Air Force. This agreement has a potential value of up to 142 million USD.

Former FAA Administrator and current Archer Chief Safety Officer, Billy Nolen said:

I’m encouraged by how the Department of Transportation and the FAA have dramatically accelerated the pace of activity to further advanced air mobility recently, and we applaud them for appropriately making AAM a top priority within the Biden Administration. It’s critical for the US to maintain our global leadership of the aerospace sector and the Administration is demonstrating they have provided the incentives and resources to ensure our nation remains at the forefront of this new industry.


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