Archer Aviation, developer of the Midnight electric vertical takeoff and land (eVTOL) aircraft, reported today it has successfully completed battery-pack drop tests. Archer considers the milestone a major step toward similar “for credit” testing with the FAA.

At the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) the batteries were dropped from 50 feet to simulate “extreme impact scenarios.” Packs were dropped at 100%, 30% and 0% charge state. Archer reports that the batteries not only passed the tests but were still functional after the drops. Archer said its decision to opt for cylindrical battery cells within the proprietary battery pack configuration was a large factor in the success of the tests.

Archer’s stated goal is to replace 60- to 90-minute automobile commutes with 10- to 20-minute electric air taxi flights that are quiet, safe, sustainable, and “cost-competitive with ground transportation.”

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