Archer's Maker aircraft is on track to start flight tests by the end of 2021 after having received its Special Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA.
Archer has also achieved its MIDO Certificate of Authorization (COA) and Aircraft Limitations, as well as its signed and approved FAA G-1 Issue Paper: Certification Basis (“G-1 Certification Basis”).
Archer Aviation announced last week that the FAA has presented them with their Special Airworthiness Certificate. This certification comes just a few weeks after the company received its Certificate of Authorization (COA) and Aircraft Limitations and is on track to begin flight testing of its Maker aircraft by the end of the year.
Additionally, Archer hit another significant benchmark this year when the company received its signed and approved FAA G-1 Issue Paper: Certification Basis (“G-1 Certification Basis”).
Receipt of the Special Airworthiness Certificate authorizes off-ground operations once an aircraft has met all FAA safety requirements. Achieving this milestone was key for enabling Archer to continue its mission to launch commercial electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) flights in 2024 in its launch partner cities, Los Angeles and Miami. The company is in talks with other cities in the U.S. for expanding its urban air mobility platform.
A representative from Archer said, in an email Q&A with Avionics International, “In the coming year, we plan to continue our robust flight testing program while working closely with the FAA on subsequent certification milestones. Maker’s first hover test flight will mark the beginning of the next chapter in our advance toward bringing commercial eVTOL travel to the world, and we’re excited to build on the past year’s progress in 2022.”
Archer is one of only a few companies making eVTOLs that have fulfilled the FAA’s certification requirements in order to begin flight testing. Another unique aspect of the company is its focus on addressing urban congestion and pollution through intra-city eVTOL transportation; many other similar enterprises work towards regional and long-haul travel.
According to Archer, they have decided to focus on transforming urban mobility in highly-populated cities because the company believes that ”eVTOL transportation represents a revolutionary solution to a problem that affects millions of people every day and is only growing worse.”
With the demonstrator aircraft, Maker, and upcoming production aircraft, the company intends to deliver significant time savings for business and leisure travelers through an emphasis on safety and efficiency in urban environments. For example, the Maker aircraft will be able to travel up to 10 times faster than a car, over a maximum distance of 60 miles. It has net-zero carbon emissions, and the company claims that its finished product will be 100 times quieter than helicopters.
Key objectives in Archer’s long-term strategy for its eVTOL network, according to the company’s representative, include:
- Help curb carbon emissions.
- Decrease traffic and ground congestion in cities.
- Create a fully renewable transportation solution.
- Build out eVTOL fleets in Los Angeles and Miami to support a variety of transportation needs.
- Promote healthier communities through public and private sector collaboration.