Archer's Ultra-Silent eVTOL Soars to the Skies for the First Time

Archer's eVTOL takes to the skies 6 photos
Photo: Archer via Youtube
Archer's eVTOL takes to the skiesArcher's eVTOL takes to the skiesArcher's eVTOL takes to the skiesArcher's eVTOL takes to the skiesArcher's eVTOL takes to the skies
Introduced earlier this year, the Maker, Archer Aviation's new electric takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL), has completed its first hover flight. Now that the first test flight proved to be successful, the California-based company is set to move the aircraft into the air.
Maker took to the skies on December 16th for the first time. At 10:30 a.m., the eVTOL started spinning all of its 12 rotors and lifted off the ground at an undisclosed test facility. All of the aircraft's hardware and software components were successfully verified during the flight.

The reason why Archer equipped its eVTOL with so many rotors was to generate less noise. They are made to spin slower when compared to the big blades that we see on helicopters. Actually, Archer says that its aircraft will be 100 quieter than a conventional helicopter.

If you're wondering how loud that is, well, it's about as loud as a fridge. Moreover, this specific design allows Maker to be powered by six individual battery packs. This means that if one or two motors die, the eVTOL will be able to continue flying.

The prototype can seat two passengers and has enough room for extra luggage. The aircraft will reach 2,000 ft (610 meters) and move at a top speed of 150 mph (340 kph). Designed for inter-city flights, the air taxi will cover distances between 20 and 40 miles (32-64 km) and is expected to make around 40 trips each day.

Archer has been working on Maker's integration and ground testing for the past two months in order to prepare it for a successful hover flight and ensure it meets the FAA's airworthiness certification criteria.

The team has moved quite fast with the development of its eVTOL. Following the unveiling of the prototype, the company has successfully put Maker in the sky in just six months.

After completing this first hover test flight, Archer will continue to verify the aircraft's capabilities. The next flights will see Maker climb higher and attempt to perform forward flight as well.

Once that is completed, the company intends to introduce the production-version air taxi in 2023. It will be a piloted eVTOL that will have more space inside, and it will carry up to four passengers.

Eventually, Archer will make its aircraft capable of performing autonomous flight as well. In the future, it will provide a complete network for eVTOLs. That will include plenty of takeoff and landing spots across the cities. However, since space is limited and they're already congested as they are, Archer plans to use the rooftops of parking garages.

Archer expects air taxi services to begin in 2024. The company will start flying Maker in L.A. and Miami, then extend its network to other megacities.

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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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