Archer Aviation has successfully completed ‘critical azimuth’, the second of three key phases of flight testing, the purpose of which is to validate the crosswind capabilities of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft configuration and flight control systems.
The company has now successfully flown Maker at increasing speeds of up to 15 knots, in various directions and attitudes, having completed the first hover test flight in December last year.
Following extensive ground testing, and the addition of Archer’s new tilt propeller system, the aircraft returned to flight testing earlier this year and has been flying almost daily.
By allowing the Archer Flight Test Team to evaluate incremental speed increases and complex manoeuvres while in hover, the culmination of these tests also demonstrated the robustness of the aircraft’s takeoff and landing capabilities.
Archer’s flight test campaign has been designed to carefully evaluate the company’s systems and technology, and the rapid progress made by the company with Maker has allowed the validation of a number of technologies for Archer’s production aircraft.
Having successfully validated various systems through this second phase of flight testing, Archer is now shifting into the third phase of its program during which it will evaluate the aircraft’s performance at increasing forward speeds. At the current rate of progress, the company continues to anticipate expanding to full transition flight by the end of the year.
Archer CEO Adam Goldstein said: “Every flight test we conduct provides us with a treasure trove of data, validating our design and rapidly propelling us towards our vision for eVTOL air travel.
“This latest milestone is truly exciting and not only reinforces the capabilities of our aircraft design, but of our highly innovative team. We’re excited to share more updates as we move the campaign even further forward in the coming months.”
Earlier this month, Archer Aviation and aircraft components manufacturer FACC entered into an agreement to fabricate and supply key fuselage and wing elements for an eVTOL aircraft currently under development.