December 3, 2021 | Archer, the US Air Force, and AFWERX Agility Prime

Mobility transforms the world. It removes obstacles, broadens horizons, sets anew our societal identity. With the ability to venture further, our world becomes nearer. As we set out about this new eVTOL aircraft frontier, drawing ever closer to our first Maker flight, we do so not just for the few, but for all. We are propelled by the vision of an era made cleaner, safer, easier for everyone. A vision shared with those focused on what can be, including the United States Air Force (USAF).

At Archer, our focus is on building electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that achieve levels of safety and efficiency such that we help usher in the next generation of sustainable transportation. Drawing on the cumulative knowledge of modern aviation, and the expertise of some of the greatest engineering minds in the industry, we continue to build towards achieving FAA Type Certification. We’ve entered into an agreement with the USAF to collaborate on flight testing to share what we will learn and what is possible in order to maximize the potential use cases and benefits of eVTOL aircraft technology.

AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force which is powered by the Air Force Research Laboratory, is the driving force behind the USAF’s participation in this emerging mobility solution. Through their Agility Prime initiative they intend to accelerate the commercial market for advanced air mobility vehicles. By drawing on the commercial research and development activities of new aircraft technologies, including eVTOL aircraft, they’re able to collaboratively establish safety and security standards, while simultaneously exploring new opportunities for improved distributed logistics and disaster response.

For years, the Department of Defense has studied the numerous benefits and use cases of emerging eVTOL designs. Neither drones nor even the most advanced helicopters quite perfectly match the possibilities afforded by the latest in eVTOL aircraft technology. With a unique ability to efficiently, quietly, and safely transport passengers through urban environments, eVTOL aircraft have already been recognized by the USAF and Agility Prime for their possible utility in medical evacuation, firefighting, civil and military disaster relief, search and rescue, and humanitarian relief operations.

Through this collaboration our team is helping to create an eVTOL aircraft ecosystem that will hopefully stretch well beyond the confines of Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”). As we share what we learn throughout the design, development and flight testing processes, we look forward to the potential of new use cases the USAF may find for our aircraft. Moving forward, these new use cases may ultimately influence future Archer eVTOL aircraft configurations which could be utilized by the USAF for a myriad of purposes.

Matt Deal, Flight Test Lead at Archer, is helping to push that vision to reality, exploring not just the obvious benefits our aircraft can have in UAM, but also how we can make the world of flight safer. “While eVTOL aircraft may seem like a completely new way of flying, the benefits to modern life are clear,” says Deal. “We’re designing to the highest levels of safety and efficiency, and together with the support of the USAF, exploring every opportunity in the process.”

Maker, our demonstrator eVTOL aircraft, will soon be taking flight, and with it we all take another step forward towards a new tomorrow. A future no longer tied to the ground, constrained by the x and y axes. A future where we can explore as freely as we commute.Together with the USAF we are venturing not simply towards a better way to move, but a better way to live. Together we can fly higher.