Archer's demonstrator eVTOL aircraft, Maker, will begin test flights this year. (Archer)
The electric aircraft developer Archer Aviation has received a G-1 issue paper from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) laying out a certification basis for its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and marking an important milestone on the path to type certification.
The G-1 issue paper provides Archer with airworthiness and environmental requirements for the certification of its eVTOL aircraft. According to a Sept. 7 press release from the company, Archer is certifying its electric aircraft in line with the FAA standard 14 C.F.R. Part 23. Archer told Aviation Today that the environmental requirements within the G-1 include elements like noise parameters.
“We’re certainly proud to have hit this historic milestone for Archer. Obtaining the G-1 Certification Basis is a significant step forward towards Archer’s and the eVTOL industry’s goal of changing how people will move around urban environments,” Archer’s Head of Certification Eric Wright said in a statement. “This is an exciting time to be a part of the aviation industry as we work to electrify the skies, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the FAA on revolutionizing aircraft transportation.”
Archer emphasized a “certification first” approach to the development of its aircraft.
“We understand that, as a company seeking to create a never-before-seen transportation solution, questions of safety and airworthiness will be paramount,” a representative for Archer told Aviation Today. “As such, it’s critical that we work closely with the FAA to demonstrate that our aircraft meets all standards and benchmarks necessary for commercial flight. This collaborative relationship ensures that we explore all avenues to ensure that our aircraft is made as safe as possible. 'Certification first' embodies our commitment to building an aircraft that can be validated and approved for commercial use so we can go on to realize our goal of transforming urban mobility.”
Now that Archer has received the G-1 issue paper, the company will focus on how to comply with the requirements in the G-1 which is laid out in the G-2 issue paper. According to Archer, the company has been working with the FAA on the G-2 issue paper since earlier this year. Following the G-2 issue paper, Archer will have to show that its design is in compliance with the requirements before receiving type certification.
“Certification continues to be the shining light at the end of our design and development tunnel,” Brett Adcock, co-founder and co-CEO of Archer, said in a statement. “While there is still significant work ahead of us, we now have a basis agreed upon with the FAA that will allow us to better focus our efforts on our goal of obtaining certification on an efficient timeline.”
While its aircraft has not yet taken its first flight, Archer says it is still confident in its 2024 launch date. The company supports this claim with milestones like a $1 billion deal with United Airlines, city partnerships with Miami and Los Angeles, an infrastructure partnership with REEF Technology, it's Prime Radiant technology, and a partnership with Stellantis.
"With the FAA having now approved our G-1 Certification Basis, we’re continuing to build on this year’s momentum and advance toward upcoming certification and airworthiness milestones," a company representative said.
In June, Archer revealed its demonstrator aircraft, Maker, which is smaller than its proposed commercial eVTOL with a four-passenger design. Maker, which Wright described as a “stepping stone in the path to certification, is anticipated to make its first flight later this year.
Archer recently announced a collaboration with the Air Force and AFWERX Agility Prime to share data on upcoming flight tests. This data will help provide the Air Force with information on future uses of these aircraft.