Archer Aviation Inc., a developer of eVTOL aircraft, announced that the FAA has issued a CoA and the Aircraft Limitations covering Maker, Archer’s flagship demonstrator aircraft. Maker is a full-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, capable of traveling 60 miles at 150 mph.
The CoA and the Aircraft Limitations are key components of the Special Airworthiness Certificate, which will be the FAA basis that permits the Maker aircraft to commence test flights.
Archer has now relocated its Maker aircraft to its California flight test facility. Here, the aircraft is undergoing final preparations for its first hover flight later this year, as well as a program of ongoing systems testing. Previously, the full-scale eVTOL aircraft was housed exclusively at the development lab within Archer’s Palo Alto headquarters where it was designed and built.
Archer’s flight test team is led by Matt Deal. Deal, who previously managed eVTOL flight test operations for the Airbus Vahana program, helms a group of engineers focused exclusively on integrating Maker’s mechanical and software elements to deliver a successful first hover flight and oversees the day-to-day operations including setting the test flight timeline and leading test flights.
While the lead up to Archer’s critical first flight is paramount, the integration and test process also allows for essential two-way feedback to the engineering teams to refine functionality and software for both Maker and Archer’s production aircraft, which is currently in its preliminary design stage.
In a May 2021 report—eVTOL/Urban Air Mobility TAM Update: A Slow Take-Off, But Sky’s the Limit—analysts at Morgan Stanley decreased the Urban Air Mobility TAM (total addressable market) base case to $1 trillion by 2040, but projected TAM to soar to $9 trillion by 2050.
Our global base case Total Addressable Market (TAM) is lowered to $1tn by 2040 vs. $1.5tn previously. By 2050, our base case UAM TAM reaches $9tn which is modestly lower than the global TAM of light passenger vehicle mobility/miles traveled market today (>$10tn). This forecast is based on a range of bottom-up estimates from our US Autos and Transport teams, extrapolated to the global market on GDP multipliers. Assumptions incorporate substantial improvements in energy storage, autonomy, growth of final mile business models and imply a significant evolu-tion/curation of the regulatory environment to support such growth.
… Our key message to investors: Temper your excitement with patience. The market opportunity for eVTOL/UAM could be far bigger than you think, but we believe it may require decades to reach high volume commercialization. We believe investors may be significantly underestimating the commercial potential of eVTOL/UAM over the long term (think 2040 to 2050 time horizon). At the same time, we would encourage great patience in the early years as the hurdles of certification are also likely underestimated. The combination reveals a balance of the opportunities and risks of this exciting new revolution in transportation that can be considered today. In our minds, the birth of eVTOL/UAM at scale is not a matter of if but rather when, how and what must be overcome along the way.