Flying Taxi Company Gets Final Airworthiness Criteria From FAA

Archer is constructing three piloted, conforming flying vehicles, one of which is to be used for piloted flight testing later this year

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

May 23, 2024

4 Min Read
Archer Aviation's Archer electric aerial vehicle (EAV).
Archer Aviation

Flying taxi company Archer Aviation has received its final airworthiness criteria from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

This final criterion provides the path for the Archer electric aerial vehicle (EAV) to achieve Type Certification, which is needed for the Archer Midnight to be used as a commercial craft.

Archer is constructing three piloted, conforming flying vehicles, one of which is to be used for piloted flight testing later this year and likely for credit flight testing with the FAA.

“Today’s milestone adds significant momentum to Midnight’s certification program as we further ramp up our ‘for credit’ testing efforts with the FAA,” said Eric Wright, Archer head of certification.

Air taxi company Joby Aviation also recently received special class airworthiness criteria. 

The FAA Archer criteria includes dealing with potential issues while flying.

“Expectations were added for the aircraft to be capable of a controlled emergency landing following any condition where the aircraft can no longer provide the commanded power or thrust required for continued safe flight and landing (CSFL),” stated the FAA document.

“The FAA revised requirements in response to numerous comments requesting clarification or recommending changes to address safety gaps in the proposed criteria, particularly in the areas of aircraft handling and control, structural airframe loads and durability, flight controls, protection of occupants and protection of systems from high-intensity radiated fields (HIRF) and lightning.”

Related:Flying Taxi Company Signs Deal to Train Pilots for UAE Operations

Archer recently announced a partnership with Etihad Training to recruit and train pilots to fly its Midnight EAV in Abu Dhabi and across the United Arab Emirates.

Archer this week featured Midnight for the first time in Saudi Arabia, following a recent showcasing of the EAV at the DriftX mobility expo in Abu Dhabi.

Archer is in the process of establishing urban aircraft mobility (UAM) operations across the UAE with the help of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, Falcon Aviation and Air Chateau.

Etihad Aviation Training trains pilots for numerous global airlines and plans to work with Archer to recruit and train pilots for the Archer eVTOL.

Archer plans to provide a Midnight flight simulator for the Etihad training center in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this year, Archer and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office agreed to accelerate commercial air taxi operations in the UAE, scheduled to start next year.

The EAV company has received the backing of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office in terms of funding in the hundreds of millions of dollars and the building of vertiports and charging infrastructure to support the flying taxi service.

Related:Flying Taxi Company Going Big in Abu Dhabi

That agreement was announced at the DriftX mobility event at the Yas Marina Circuit, a sold-out event featuring outdoor demonstrations of numerous flying vehicles and indoor exhibitions of pilotless and piloted vehicles of all types.

The joint agreement includes building vertiport and local manufacturing of the Midnight.

Archer’s international headquarters and Center of Excellence are being established in Abu Dhabi.

Last year Archer raised $215 million from Stellantis, Boeing, United Airlines and ARK Investment Management, with total funding at that time at $1.1 billion.

Archer’s goal is to replace 60- to 90-minute car trips with 10- to 20-minute flights. The Midnight can carry four passengers and a pilot and is aimed at trips of 20 to 50 miles, with 10 minutes of battery charging time between flights.

For mass production of the EAVs, a high-volume manufacturing facility is being built in Georgia.

The facility is expected ultimately to be able to produce up to 650 flying vehicles a year.

Archer recently signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA for the testing of its battery cell and system design, with plans to share the results to aid the advanced air mobility (AAM) market.

Related:Flying Car Startup Funding Tops $1B; Backed by Boeing, United Airlines

The company also has signed a deal with Air Chateau International for the private aviation operator to purchase the EAV to be operated in the UAE.

Archer intends to build an engineering center of excellence to support the growing advanced air mobility industry in the UAE and across the Middle East.

Archer is not alone in expanding its global operation.

EAV jet maker Lilium recently announced that ArcosJet DMCC is going to purchase 10 of its electric jets and become the exclusive dealer for its private jets in the region.

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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