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The Vertical Takeoff Electric Plane Revolution Hooks Another Big Name

Archer, the company projected to launch a fully-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft as soon as this year, has secured another big order, this time coming straight from United Airlines.
Rendering of Archer's electric aircraft 1 photo
In a press release (embedded below) shared a few hours ago, United Airlines reveals it has ordered no less than 200 such electric planes as part of its climate change combat plan. It hopes to use them for quick transportation from its hub airports to “dense urban environments.

If everything goes according to the plan, United says it should be able to start operating the 200 electric plane fleet at some point in the next five years. Archer also projects to take the wraps off the eVTOL aircraft later in 2021, with more specifics to be shared closer to launch.

United will contribute its expertise in airspace management to assist Archer with the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft. Once the aircraft are in operation and have met United's operating and business requirements, United, together with Mesa Airlines, would acquire a fleet of up to 200 of these electric aircraft that would be operated by a partner and are expected to give customers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United's hub airports and commute in dense urban environments within the next five years,” the company said.

Archer’s electric aircraft is capable of traveling distances of up to 60 miles (96 km) with a top speed of 150 miles per hour (241 kph), and United says it’s hoping to see a major improvement of this figure by the time its fleet is ready.

According to statistics, the new aircraft would be able to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 47 percent for each passenger.

Archer’s original roadmap indicates that after the 2021 unveiling of the new electric plane, mass production should kick off in 2023, while consumer flights should begin as early as 2024.

press release

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