Archer Aviation Inc. a manufacturer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in San Jose, California, announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) in which the which the emirate government and the company intend to collaborate on plans to commence air taxi operations in Abu Dhabi in 2026.
With a range of up to 100 miles and an expected payload of approximately 1,000lbs, Archer’s Midnight is a piloted, four passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between flights. Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60-90 minute commutes by car, with estimated 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights.
The eVTOL is designed to cruise at approximately 2,000 feet, the design of Midnight is such that the noise that reaches the ground is expected to measure around 45 A-weighted decibels (dBA), which the company says is almost 1,000 times quieter than that of a helicopter. During forward flight, the aircraft’s tilt propellers spin on axes that are aligned with the oncoming air flow, rather than edge-wise to the flow, as is the case with traditional helicopters – further decreasing noise levels. Since Archer’s aircraft is spinning 12 small propellers rather than one large rotor, it can also spin them at significantly lower tip speeds, resulting in much lower noise levels.
ADIO and Archer held a signing ceremony 16 October 2023 at which they, along with several other aviation industry participants from across the region, including Falcon Aviation and GAL-AMMROC, committed to support this strategic initiative. Archer is still in discussions with numerous other industry participants that it plans to announce MOUs with when the company is in the region to showcase its Midnight aircraft at the Dubai Air Show from November 13-17, as well as the Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF) hosted by ICAO and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) the following week in Dubai.
Archer is seeking to work with its global manufacturing partner Stellantis, as well as local partners in the UAE, to build out its aircraft manufacturing capabilities and its Center of Excellence in Abu Dhabi. Archer’s Center of Excellence will be focused on the development and implementation of next-generation aviation technologies.