Archer Aviation Inc. has announced it is nearing completion of the final assembly of its first Midnight, the production aircraft it unveiled last November. All major aerostructures (i.e., wing, tail, and fuselage) have been built and mated together and the company reported it has also installed a significant portion of the wiring, electronics, actuators and other systems. Archer is currently targeting to begin flight testing of this aircraft in mid-2023. This aircraft will be used to enable company testing in advance of “for credit” certification testing.
The company has also now begun component manufacturing for its conforming Midnight aircraft, which will be flown with a pilot. Archer intends to build at least six of these conforming Midnight aircraft to be used as part of its "for credit" testing with the FAA in support of Type Certification. The company is targeting completion of its initial conforming Midnight aircraft in Q4 2023. In turn, that conforming aircraft would then begin piloted flight test operations in early 2024. These conforming aircraft are set to be built at Archer’s San Jose, California, manufacturing facility and integrated test lab, located strategically just around the corner from its headquarters.
“A lot goes on behind the scenes to advance the development of our aircraft as efficiently as we have. I couldn’t be more excited to share the news of Archer’s progress on Midnight,” said Tom Muniz, Archer’s COO. “This latest milestone is further validation of our strategic approach of using known building blocks to enable realistic innovation significantly de-risking our path to certification and mass manufacturing. The team and I are looking forward to moving this aircraft into flight testing soon and continuing on our path to flying our conforming aircraft in early 2024.”