Archer Aviation, developer of the Midnight electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has expanded its partnership with the U.S. Air Force. Archer and the USAF are no strangers to collaboration, as Archer has been working with the Department of Defense since 2021 on a series of projects associated with the AFWERX program. Archer has worked in collaboration with AFWERX Agility Prime to gauge the potential of the vertical flight market and eVTOL technologies for larger DoD applications. The new contracts total $142 million and signal the U.S. military’s interest in and commitment to vertical flight use. This new execution phase of the partnership includes the delivery of up to six of Archer’s Midnight aircraft to the Air Force, along with pilot training, the sharing of flight test data and certification-related test reports, and the development of maintenance and repair operations.
Archer has recently completed manufacturing its first Midnight aircraft – an aircraft with a target payload of approximately 1,000 pounds, a proprietary electric powertrain system, and a low noise profile, giving it, according to Archer, limitless defense applications. These aircraft, says Archer, hold the promise of improving rapid response, agility, and operational effectiveness across a wide range of mission profiles, from personnel transport and logistics support to rescue operations and more.
“This historic agreement reflects the steadfast commitment by our armed forces to embrace the cutting-edge technology our eVTOL aircraft offer,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO. “It’s clear that the development and commercialization of eVTOL technology continues to remain a national priority. We look forward to working closely with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force to integrate Midnight into their operational fleet with a focus on transport, logistics and rescue operations.”