Air Taxi

United Airlines Forms Partnership with Archer to Purchase 200 eVTOL Aircraft

By Kelsey Reichmann | February 11, 2021
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United and Mesa Airlines will purchase 200 of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft which is expected to be unveiled later this year. (Archer Aviation)

United Airlines and Archer Aviation announced a partnership that will leverage the international carrier’s aviation experience for Archer’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, United announced on Feb. 10. According to United, the partnership is part of the airline’s effort to invest in emerging clean technologies. 

“Part of how United will combat global warming is by embracing emerging technologies that decarbonize air travel,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a press statement. “By working with Archer, United is showing the aviation industry that now is the time to embrace cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation. With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground. Archer’s eVTOL design, manufacturing model, and engineering expertise has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.”

In May 2020, Avionics International covered the emergence from stealth of Archer Aviation’s California-based operations. The eVTOL aircraft Archer is developing has performance targets that include 60 miles of range with a 150 mph cruise speed.

United and Mesa Airlines will also purchase 200 of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft once operational, according to the release. This fleet of eVTOL aircraft will be operated by another partner and will connect customers to United’s hub airports. 

The agreement includes the use of United’s airspace management expertise in Archer’s eVTOL aircraft. 

“This deal represents so much more than just a commercial agreement for our aircraft, but rather the start of a relationship that we believe will accelerate our timeline to market as a result of United’s strategic guidance around FAA certification, operations, and maintenance,” Brett Adcock, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer, said in a press statement. 

Archer’s eVTOL aircraft is expected to be unveiled in 2021, begin production in 2023, and be available to the public in 2024. The aircraft is expected to be able to have a range of 60 miles. 

 “The team at United share our vision of a more sustainable future,” Adam Goldstein, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer, said in a press statement. “We’re working closely with their test pilots and environmental teams to make sustainable urban air mobility a reality far sooner than people could ever imagine.”

Archer also recently announced a partnership with Fiat Chrysler to utilize the companies low-cost supply chain to accelerate the production of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft. 

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