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Archer completes ‘critical azimuth’ flight tests

California-based Archer Aviation said it has completed its “critical azimuth” flight tests using its Maker demonstrator eVTOL aircraft. Archer said this marks the second of three key phases of flight testing, keeping the company on pace to achieving transition flight by the end of the year.

Archer Aviation said it has completed its “critical azimuth” flight tests using its Maker demonstrator aircraft. Archer Aviation Image

The most recent phase of testing saw Maker flying at increasing speeds of up to 15 knots in various directions and attitudes in order to validate the crosswind capabilities of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft configuration and flight control systems.

The company said the success of these tests enables Archer to now move into the third phase of its campaign, during which it will evaluate the aircraft’s performance at increasing forward speeds.

“Every flight test we conduct provides us with a treasure trove of data, validating our design and rapidly propelling us toward our vision for eVTOL air travel,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO. “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.”

Maker completed its first hover test flight in December 2021. 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, the company said. This allows the flight test team to evaluate incremental speed increases and complex maneuvers while in hover, and demonstrated the aircraft’s take-off and landing capabilities.

Archer is developing a five-seat eVTOL aircraft with a targeted range of 60 miles (95 kilometers) and a cruise speed of 150 mph (240 km/h), which it intends to get type certified by the end of 2024.

Earlier this week, Archer increased its supplier list by selecting Honeywell to supply the actuators and thermal management technology for its production aircraft.

“Honeywell’s position as an established leader in delivering advanced aerospace technologies will be critical to us delivering on our goal of certifying our production aircraft in 2024,” Goldstein said.

Along with Archer, Honeywell is also working with eVTOL developers Lilium and Vertical Aerospace, and recently opened a new advanced air mobility lab at its North Phoenix aerospace location.

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