Archer Aviation sets a production target of 2,000 aircraft per year

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Archer Aviation Inc. said it plans to produce around 250 eVTOL aircraft in 2025 and gradually increase production to around 2,000 vehicles per year. The timeline depends on obtaining certification for the company’s planned production model, known as the Midnight, which Archer says it expects in 2024.

The Californian startup, which is currently not suitable for mass manufacturing, has also set out an ambitious plan to build 500 planes in 2026 and 650 in 2027 on its way to full production.

While the company has set a timeline for certifying its plane, which is designed for air taxi service and will carry one pilot and four passengers, the FAA is still developing rules for certifying those planes. Archer’s tentative schedule is therefore dependent on a number of items coming together quickly – a rare occurrence in aircraft certification.

The Midnight design uses six tilting rotors that use power from lithium-ion batteries to take off vertically like a helicopter and transition to forward flight. It should have a range of around 52 sm and cruise at 130 knots. Its ideal mission profile involves transporting passengers to destinations in cities known for traffic jams.

“We are in the process of developing the infrastructure necessary to manufacture Midnight reliably, at scale and profitably. We continue to expand our portfolio of foundational suppliers that will provide us with essential components for Midnight,” the company said in a statement shared with FLYING.

“We now have over 50% of our suppliers for our BOM selected, based on cost, these being comprised of world leaders in the design, development and manufacture of aircraft components. We are excited about the significant progress we have made in securing world-class vendors for Midnight that will help us meet our key design and operations specifications that will meet our mission and business goals,” added the society.

After certification, Archer will compete in a crowded market with companies like Joby Aviation, which also said it expects FAA certification in 2024, and Wisk Aero, which has support from Boeing. Another rival, UK-based Vertical Aerospace, said earlier this year that it also expects its VX4 air taxi to enter service in 2025.

In addition to certification, this new category of air transport will need to overcome a number of potential hurdles, including the development of vertiports, air traffic systems and other eVTOL infrastructure, as well as the need for better batteries.

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