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US Air Force makes 'historic' investment in cutting-edge aircraft technology: 'It is our mission'

The Air Force will receive up to six Midnight vehicles.

Midnight eVTOL, US Air Force makes ‘historic’ investment

Photo Credit: iStock

Archer Aviation announced on July 31 that it agreed to a "historic" purchase contract with the United States Air Force worth up to $142 million.

The Air Force will receive up to six Midnight electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles to use for transportation, logistics, and rescue operations. The company demonstrated the abilities with a simulated video of the aircraft here.

"This historic agreement reflects the steadfast commitment by our Armed Forces to embrace the cutting-edge technology our eVTOL aircraft offer," said Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein, reported Electrek. "It's clear that the development and commercialization of eVTOL technology continues to remain a national priority."

Archer first partnered with the Air Force in 2021 with the AFWERX Agility Prime program, and now it will share additional flight test data and certification-related test reports, develop maintenance and repair operations, and train pilots.

The company debuted the Midnight eVTOL in November. It can carry four passengers plus a pilot and 1,000 pounds of cargo. It flies at 2,000 feet and has a range of 100 miles with a sound effect on the ground of 45 decibels. The vessel is optimized for back-to-back 20-mile trips with a charging time of about 10 minutes in between.

"It is our mission to ensure the U.S. continues to lead the world in developing and deploying emerging aerospace technology," Col. Tom Meagher, AFWERX Prime division chief, said, as reported by Electrek. Meagher added that "eVTOL aircraft represent the cusp of the third revolution in aerospace, and these aircraft and their descendants will drive advances in capabilities and efficiency."

On Aug. 10, Archer announced it was granted permission by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct test flights with Midnight and that it had received $215 million in funding from Stellantis, United Airlines, Boeing, and others.

The company was founded in 2018, and the Midnight eVTOL will be manufactured in Georgia, per Electrek.

Archer's goal is for the craft to be in commercial use by 2025. It is also working toward reaching the mass market by 2028 and getting 6,000 eVTOLS in the air by 2030.

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