Archer has made two key appointments as it continues to increase its workforce and push on with the certification roadmap of its eVTOL aircraft, which is set to be operational by 2024.
The company hired 20 engineers from Aerion Supersonic last month and has now recruited veteran pilot Jeff Greenwood as its Chief Flight Test Pilot. He will be tasked with developing the command centre of the aircraft, setting the test flight timeline and leading test flights – ahead of Archer’s plan to start this process by Q4 2021.
While Dave Dennison has joined Archer as its Vice President of Engineering. As an experienced engineer and aircraft production line manager, he brings nearly two decades of engineering new product development programs, with experience spanning rotorcraft and fixed wing aircraft, prototype aircraft, aircraft structures research and development, and managing aircraft production lines.
“At Archer, we’re constantly looking for the best and brightest industry talent to advance our design and take us through the proper channels for regulation and flight testing,” said Brett Adcock, Archer co-founder and co-CEO. “With the addition of industry veterans like Jeff and Dave, we’re continuing our work to meet the highest safety and production standards to realise this goal.”
“It’s critical that our leadership team possesses a dynamic mix of experience, skill, and vision to navigate the eVTOL certification process,” added Adam Goldstein, Archer co-founder and co-CEO. “Jeff and Dave epitomise Archer’s unique approach of bringing pilots and engineers together to develop our eVTOL aircraft, and the collective value of their experiences will be key to unlocking the next generation of safe, accessible transportation.”
As Archer prepares for flight testing, Greenwood will focus on cockpit design, including vendor selection for the display and other cockpit equipment. While test pilots are traditionally introduced after the cockpit has been developed, Archer felt Greenwood’s involvement in this process was the most logical and efficient way to develop a high-quality aircraft given his extensive flight experience.
Previously, he served as a test pilot for Bell, where he helped develop, test, and certify leading industry rotorcraft. Greenwood also served as a pilot in the United States Marine Corps. During his tenure, he developed his passion for test piloting and was a graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School.
Commenting on his new role, Greenwood said: “eVTOL is redefining transportation and reshaping how people move in and around the world’s biggest cities. I’m thrilled to be a part of the future of sustainable travel and the most innovative work the aviation industry has seen in decades. Archer is leading the fourth transportation revolution and I can’t wait to contribute to the next phase of design and test flights.”
Dennison previously served as the Vice President of Engineering at Triumph Aerospace Structures, where he helped create innovative new thermoplastic structures technologies and led certification activities for the Bombardier Global 7500 and Embraer E2 programs.
Prior to his time at Triumph Aerospace, he managed the 525-production line at Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., holding various engineering and design leadership positions for the development of commercial and military rotorcraft programs.
In his role at Archer, Dennison will apply his robust engineering expertise to its production aircraft, which will usher in a new generation of safe and sustainable travel. Upon joining the company earlier this year, Dennison oversaw the execution of the technical activities in the development of its Maker aircraft.
The two-seat demonstrator aircraft made its debut in Los Angeles last month and offered audience members and livestream viewers the chance to experience an XR projection technology-enhanced ride.
Dennison said: “Translating a bold vision into a real, effective product that follows through on that vision’s promise requires a team with a diversity of experiences, a willingness to listen, and a collective drive to progress toward its goals.
“Archer is poised to transform the future of transportation, and I’m excited to be a part of a team that’s pioneering a new generation of efficient and environmentally-responsible electric aircraft.”
Greenwood and Dennison join Archer’s leadership team during a year of sustained momentum for the company. This year has already seen two city partnerships in Los Angeles and Miami and a definitive agreement with United Airlines for $1 billion of Archer’s aircraft, with an option for an additional $500 million of aircraft.
Archer remains on track to complete a merger with Atlas Crest Investment Corporation (NYSE: ACIC) that will unlock $1.1 billion to fund Archer’s growing team and plans for flight testing and an R&D facility.