Aerospace composites producer Hexcel will be supplying the carbon fiber materials and resin systems, also known as prepreg, to fabricate the composite parts for Archer Aviation’s Maker eVTOL aircraft.
The California-based company said on Thursday that it has signed a letter of intent with Hexcel, which would provide Archer with a manufacturing pipeline for key materials that it would need to produce its aircraft at scale. The news comes ahead of the eVTOL company announcing the location of its aircraft production facility.
“When selecting a partner, our primary focus was on safety and quality,” said Brett Adcock, Archer’s co-founder and co-CEO. “We were impressed by Hexcel’s track record in delivering high-performance prepreg materials for the commercial aerospace industry and their proactive approach to developing cutting-edge materials.”
Hexcel supplies carbon fiber honeycomb, and other composite materials for major aerospace and commercial aviation programs, as well as space, defense and industrial programs. The company said its materials are designed to reduce weight and energy consumption while increasing payload and flight range.
Archer is developing a five-seat eVTOL aircraft that it hopes to get type certified with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by 2024. After completing its first hover test flight in December, Archer said it plans to progress through its flight test campaign this year to achieve the first full transition cruise flight.
Company executives told shareholders last month that they also plans to select and construct a manufacturing facility this year, and work toward unveiling its production aircraft in 2023.