Archer Aviation announced that the proposed Airworthiness Criteria for its Midnight aircraft have been published in the Federal Register by the FAA. The company called this “a significant milestone” on its path to commercializing urban air mobility in the U.S.
Archer says their Midnight aircraft is designed to be “safe, sustainable, quiet and, with its expected payload of over 1,000 pounds, can carry four passengers plus a pilot.” Midnight has a range of up to 100 miles and can travel at speeds of up to 150 mph, but is optimized for back-to-back short distance trips of around 20-miles, with a charging time of approximately 10 minutes in between trips. Archer is working to certify Midnight with the FAA in late 2024 and will then use it as part of its UAM network, which it plans to launch in 2025.
“From day one Archer’s strategy has always been about finding the most efficient path to commercializing eVTOL aircraft,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO. “Today’s publication of our Airworthiness Criteria in the Federal Register is further validation of our strategy and our leadership position in the market.”
As part of the FAA’s Type Certification process for special class aircraft, the Airworthiness Criteria (i.e., the certification requirements for the particular aircraft) must be published in the Federal Register. Following the comment period, the FAA will finalize the Airworthiness Criteria for Archer’s Midnight aircraft.
“Synchronizing the design of our Midnight aircraft with our certification efforts has long been a cornerstone of our commercialization strategy,” said Eric Wright, head of certification at Archer. “This ‘design for certification’ approach has enabled our timeline by allowing us to prioritize decisions that optimize our aircraft for FAA compliance. The FAA has been an invaluable partner in this journey, as evidenced by the recent publication of our airworthiness criteria to the Federal Register. This is yet another important step forward as we continue to build on our growing momentum towards Type Certification and the launch of commercial business operations.”