When Archer Aviation announced its proposed merger with Atlas Crest Investment Corp in February of this year, it released slick renderings of a two-seat eVTOL demonstrator aircraft called Maker (with enough detail to prompt a patent infringement lawsuit by Wisk).
Now, Archer is preparing to reveal Maker to the world at an event in the Los Angeles area on June 10, which will be livestreamed to a global audience.
Maker is not the aircraft that Archer intends to take into production. Rather, according to Archer co-founder Brett Adcock, “it’s a full-scale eVTOL we’re using as a certification testbed, and using as a way to advance our key enabling technologies.”
Archer has yet to release images of its five-seat production model, although it should look very similar to Maker. Archer chief engineer Geoff Bower told Vertiflite’s Ken Swartz earlier this year that “the fuselage cross-section probably won’t inflate when we go to a five-seater, but it’ll stretch and the wing and rotors will roughly scale.”
In advance of Thursday’s unveiling, Adcock told eVTOL.com that the two-seat Maker has a wingspan of slightly over 40 feet (12 meters) and a weight of around 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilograms).
“It’s designed to do the full mission profile that we are ultimately designing requirements to for the production aircraft we’re going to market with in 2024,” he said. Archer is targeting a range of 60 miles (around 95 kilometers) and a cruise speed of 150 mph (240 km/h) for its fully electric aircraft.
While Archer’s certified aircraft will be piloted, the Maker is autonomous. Even though the demonstrator won’t actually be used to carry passengers, Archer is using Maker to show off its interior concept, which “is going to be awesome,” co-founder Adam Goldstein promised.
“Our interior was designed from the ground up, and we have a whole industrial design team here in house,” he said. “[The interior] has all the bells and whistles that you would expect.”
Los Angeles, the site of the unveiling event, is one of two cities that Archer has named as launch markets (the other being Miami). Los Angeles International Airport is a major hub for United, which has conditionally agreed to purchase up to $1 billion of Archer’s aircraft.
To register for the livestream at 6 p.m. Pacific time on June 10, click here.