US Air Force signed a contract worth up to $142 million with Archer Aviation Inc. for the purchase of six electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL). This agreement represents an expansion of Archer’s partnership with Pentagon, and a move on the part of the world’s largest military force to pursue new technology for modern battlefields.
Archer partnered first with the Pentagon in 2020 on a number of projects via the Air Force’s AFWERX program (work project), to accelerate the development in the vertical-flight market. The purchase of six Midnight air taxis announced on Monday will offer an alternative to helicopters in the areas of personnel transport, logistic support and rescue missions.
Archer said in a release that the expansion of Archer’s partnership with DoD is a significant investment for the future of this country. It will also help to ensure the US retains its leadership in aviation.
Archer has recently completed the production of its first Midnight aircraft. The DoD is now aware that the aircraft's vertical takeoff/landing capabilities, payload target of 1,000lbs, proprietary powertrain system and low-noise profile could represent a paradigm shift for military aviation. These aircraft promise to enhance rapid response, agility and operational effectiveness in a variety of mission profiles - from personnel transport, logistics support, rescue operations, and more. The company stated
Adam Goldstein is the CEO and Founder of Archer. "This historic deal reflects our Armed Forces' steadfast commitment to embrace cutting-edge technologies our eVTOL airplanes offer," he said.
Goldstein added, "It is clear that eVTOL development and commercialization continues to be a national prioritiy." We are looking forward to working with the US Department of Defense, and the US Air Force in order to integrate Midnight as part of their operational fleet. This will focus on transport operations, logistics and search and rescue.
Archer is not the only option.
Joby Aviation already has orders.
Joby expects to deliver its first eVTOL to the USAF in 2024. Joby anticipates delivering its first eVTOLs to the USAF by 2024.
Joby shares rose 4.5%, while Archer shares rose as much as 12.0%.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is catching up with the Pentagon in terms of eVTOL orders.
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The pilot in command is likely to need an airlift rating or eVTOL, meaning you will need a private license in order to fly in controlled airspace.