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Archer launches full-size Midnight four-passenger eVTOL air cab

With the successful test flight of the Maker prototype, Archer Aviation officially launched its full-size Midnight four-passenger eVTOL aircraft, often referred to as an air cab, on November 17. The company aims to obtain FAA certification by the end of 2024 and launch commercially in 2025.

The Midnight is based on the same propulsion layout as the Maker, including 12 rotors. The major difference between the two is that Midnight is much larger than Maker.

The two-seat Maker has a 40-foot wingspan and weighs about 3,500 pounds, while the Midnight has a 47-foot wingspan and weighs nearly 6,500 pounds.

Archer said the production version of the Midnight could achieve a payload of more than 1,000 pounds, while the FAA weight and carry-on baggage limits of 200 pounds for men and 179 pounds for women mean it’s hard to put too much on top of meeting four passengers.

The company says the aircraft will be optimized for continuous 20-mile trips, with about 10 minutes between flights to recharge the batteries.

The aircraft is described as having a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h) and can fly up to 100 miles (160 km) on a charge, and it also supports fast charging for back-to-back 20-mile (32 km) trips in 10 minutes, and the company claims it can fly for at least 3,000 consecutive flight cycles, after which the battery pack may need to be updated.

Archer promises it will be less obtrusive than an electric helicopter in urban operations, and most importantly, it will be 100 times quieter than a helicopter and cheaper, costing “the price of an Uber-style service” per mile, super affordable pricing that is key to the eVTOL industry’s rapid expansion plans.

Archer is reportedly building a new facility in Georgia, aiming to produce 650 aircraft per year. If all goes according to plan, they will soon reach a capacity of 2,300 aircraft per year.

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