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Archer Aviation announced yesterday (Jan. 31) it has completed Phase 1 testing on its Midnight electric vertical takeoff and land (eVTOL) aircraft. The phase took three months to accomplish, “significantly” less than the time it took Archer to reach this point with its full-scale prototype Maker model.

Archer said it has upgraded the Midnight’s battery system to incorporate among the first high-voltage packs from the company’s assembly line in San Jose, California.

Phase 2 testing involves incrementally increasing speed runs until achieving wing-borne flight, and ultimately the capability to transition to both vertical and wing-borne modes in a single flight. Phase 3 involves simulated commercial routes “to demonstrate the aircraft’s operational readiness,” according to Archer.

Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein, said, “Over the last four years of flight testing, our team has been able to gather a tremendous amount of data and learnings that enable us to advance Midnight rapidly towards certification.”

Archer’s mission goals for its piloted four-passenger Midnight aircraft include replacing 60- to 90-minute automobile commutes with 10- to 20-minute electric air taxi flights with minimal charge time between flights. The flights are planned to be safe, sustainable, low-noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation, the company said.

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