Archer Aviation has moved its Maker eVTOL technology demonstrator from its Palo Alto, California development lab to an undisclosed site in the state where it is expected to make an initial hover flight in December. According to the company, the FAA’s manufacturing inspection district office has issued the certificate of authorization and aircraft limitations required for the special airworthiness certificate required for flight testing to start.
As it prepares to step up its type certification campaign, Archer today reported its first earnings since completing its merger with Atlas Crest and New York Stock Exchange flotation in September. For the period ending on September 30, it had an adjusted EBITDA loss of $28 million and $796 million in cash on its balance sheet. Operating expenses for the quarter totaled $176 million and capital expenditure $1.1 million, with these costs mainly associated with development of the Maker and expanding the company's payroll and business premises.
The Archer engineering team, which over the third quarter was swelled with multiple new recruits with specializations such as propulsion and fly-by-wire controls, is now working on final assembly and systems integration for the Maker. The two-seat vehicle is being used to help the company complete the development of the four-passenger vehicle with which it intends to launch commercial services by late 2024.
In September, Archer reported that the FAA approved the G1 certification basis under the agency’s 14 CFR Part 23 regulations. It aims to complete the G2 process for the certification means of compliance in 2022.
The Maker’s flight test team is led by Matt Deal, who was previously involved in flight testing of Airbus’s Vahana eVTOL technology demonstrator. Engineers are now integrating Maker’s mechanical and software elements for the first hover flight and defining the timeline and process for subsequent flight testing. Work on the full-scale Archer eVTOL is still in its preliminary design stage.
“The relocation of Maker to our dedicated flight test facility marks the next chapter in our journey towards the future of flight,” said Archer co-founder and co-CEO Brett Adcock. “This transition will allow our team to shift gears from our ‘ground phase’ to the ‘flight phase’ of our Maker roadmap.”