Ampaire hybrid-electric regional aircraft flies

Archer Aviation Inc. publicly unveiled its production electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft Midnight in Palo Alto, California. Midnight is an evolution of the eVTOL demonstration aircraft from Archer, Maker, which has validated its proprietary 12-tilt-6 configuration and key required technologies.

The Midnight is designed to be safe, stable, quiet and, with an expected payload of over 1,000 pounds, can carry four passengers plus a pilot. The Midnight is optimized for short back-to-back trips of around 20 miles with a charging time of about 10 minutes between them. Archer is working to certify Midnight with the FAA in late 2024 and will then use it as part of its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) network, which is scheduled to launch in 2025.

“From day one, Archer’s strategy has always been to find the most efficient way to commercialize eVTOL aircraft,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO. “We believe that our strategy and the team’s ability to execute it have allowed us to take a leadership position in the market.”

Midnight combines advanced electric propulsion technology with state-of-the-art aircraft systems to offer:

• Security. High redundancy and simplified propulsion systems make an airplane much safer than a helicopter. Midnight has no single critical failure points, meaning that if any component fails, the aircraft can safely complete its flight. In addition, the electric motors used in Midnight have far fewer moving parts than those found in gas turbine or piston engines, allowing them to operate with less maintenance and less overall risk.

• Low noise level. Designed to fly at an altitude of approximately 2,000 feet, Midnight’s design is such that noise reaching the ground is expected to be around 45 decibels (dBA), nearly 1,000 times quieter than a helicopter. During forward flight, the aircraft’s pitching propellers rotate on axes aligned with the incoming air flow, rather than at the edges of the flow, as is the case with traditional helicopters, further reducing noise levels. Because Archer’s plane spins 12 small propellers rather than one large rotor, it can also spin them at much slower speeds, resulting in much lower noise levels.

• Sustainability. Midnight is fully electric, resulting in zero operational emissions. Archer is committed to using renewable energy wherever possible to power its aircraft. Archer’s design and engineering teams integrated materials into the aircraft with their unique sustainability stories. For example, Midnight’s seats are made from flax fiber, a natural plant that requires very little watering and is a strong CO absorber2. In addition, Archer’s design uses fabric from recycled content such as plastic bottles.

“We continue to advance toward commercialization, with the vast majority of our resources focused on completing Midnight’s development and certification, ramping up our manufacturing capabilities and supply chain, and solidifying our go-to-market plans,” said Mark Messler, Archer’s. financial director.

In August, Archer completed a preliminary review of the Midnight design, covering all aspects of the aircraft’s specifications and production requirementswhich allowed him to determine that the project was suitable for type certification and commercialization.

Archer has also made rapid progress in Maker’s flight test program and is due to complete a full transition flight in the coming weeks, just 12 months after its first hover flight. Achieving this milestone will further validate the flight physics of the proprietary Archer 12-tilt-6 configuration used in both Maker and Midnight, as well as several key enabling technologies such as the aircraft’s flight control system. The Maker flight test program generated invaluable data that Archer used during Midnight’s development and certification.

http://www.aerospacemanufacturinganddesign.com/article/ampaire-hybrid-electric-regional-aircraft-flies Ampaire hybrid-electric regional aircraft flies

Back to top button