Archer Aviation Inc. steps towards introducing eVTOL technology to military aviation as the US Air Force disburses an initial payment of nearly $1m, kickstarting a contract valued at up to $142m.

This partnership aims to harness Archer’s eVTOL technology to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness across military missions.

In endorsing Archer’s work in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the US Air Force has begun executing their recently inked contracts, setting the stage for collaboration. The initial payment of almost $1m marks the commencement of an effort to assess the potential of eVTOL technologies in national defence.

The focal point of this inaugural disbursement revolves around a mobile flight simulator. This simulator developed through the joint efforts of the US Air Force and Archer, will serve as a training tool.

It is designed to acquaint Air Force pilots with the intricacies of Archer’s eVTOL platform, refining flight controls and improving their understanding of operational capabilities. Additionally, this simulator will appear at key public and industry events, raising awareness and fostering engagement with eVTOL technology.

Archer’s collaboration with the US Air Force extends beyond the flight simulator. The partnership encompasses the sharing of wind tunnel testing reports, along with project and subject-specific certification plans. These initiatives underline a shared commitment to advance the frontiers of aviation technology.

Adam Goldstein, the CEO and founder of Archer, expressed enthusiasm about the progress of this contract. He emphasised, “To see our historic contract with the US Air Force move from signature to execution at a rapid pace is a reflection of the strong commitment that the US Department of Defense has made to securing our country’s future by investing in transformational technology.”

Central to this endeavour is Archer’s Midnight aircraft, which has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, a target payload of approximately 1,000 lbs, and a proprietary electric powertrain system.

In a separate development, the US Marine Corps have also embraced Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft. The USMC’s visit indicates the growing recognition that Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft offers an alternative to traditional helicopters.

This aircraft provides heightened agility and operational effectiveness across various mission profiles, from personnel transport to logistics support and rescue operations. Noteworthy is its reduced noise profile, offering a quieter alternative to helicopters.

Moreover, the Midnight aircraft presents a cost-effective solution for the US military regarding transport, operation, and maintenance.

Last month, Joby Aviation also delivered the first-ever electric air taxi, joining the US Air Force to demonstrate the potential of eVTOL technology in various logistic missions, including cargo and passenger information.

Another eVTOL development from last month involved the US Air Force receiving the installation of the first-ever electric aircraft charging station at Duke Field from AFWERX and division partner BETA Technologies.