Archer Aviation Inc. has successfully completed its first transition to a full wing-borne flight, a first for Maker, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi.
Maker has 12 propellers attached to six booms on a fixed wing. All the propellers provide vertical lift during take-off and landing. The forward six propellers tilt forward for cruise position and provide propulsion during forward flight.
During the transition flight, the tilt propellers were locked in cruise position for the first time and the aircraft flew at 105 mph.
Archer said the flight is critical for validating the flight physics of the Maker air taxi as well as the Midnight aircraft, which Archer unveiled last month. The flight-testing program completed the transition to fully wing-borne flight in less than 12 months since its first hover flight, the company said.
The video shows the Maker eVTOL lift off from an airport and ascend and transition, and then fly over land before returning to the airport.
This network includes working with United Airlines, which paid $10 million in pre-delivery payment to Archer in August — in one of the largest air taxi deals to date. The deposit on the eVTOL aircraft comes after ordering the 100 air taxis in 2021.
As part of this agreement, Archer unveiled one of the first airport to city center routes that would lie between United’s hub at Newark Liberty International Airport and a downtown Manhattan heliport in New York City.