Archer targets 2026 for Midnight's run

At the Dubai Airshow, Archer and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office announced their plans to make the United Arab Emirates Archer’s first international launch partner. Electric air taxi operations will start in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2026.

Picture: Archer

MIDNIGHT RUNNER: Archer's goal is to replace long commutes by car with 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights. Picture: Archer

When we met Tom Muniz, Archer’s chief operating officer, at the last Paris Airshow, he gave us an insight into the American company’s strategy in this promising region.

“We’ve seen huge interest and potential in the Middle East. There’s so much growth there. They want to be innovative and invest in new technologies especially in the big cities and aviation hubs,” Muniz said.

A few months later, founder and CEO Adam Goldstein unveiled Archer’s plans to bring electric air taxis to the UAE in his keynote address at the Dubai Airshow.

Midnight, its 100 per cent eVTOL, was displayed alongside its competitors’ products in the pavilion dedicated to future urban air mobility at both shows.

Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60–90 minute commutes by car with estimated 10-20 minutes electric air taxi flights that are “safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation”.

Midnight is a piloted, four-passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time between flights.

“We looked into the technologies that really drive the performance, the differentiators and there are three key areas; the engines, the batteries and the software,” Muniz told Arabian Aerospace. These are all in-house and the rest is provided by its global supply base.

Billy Nolen. who joined the Archer team after serving as acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) till June 2023, has been “instrumental” in the certification process.

“We need to know how to keep a leadership in aviation. Policy is the way to make this happen,” CEO Adam Goldstein pointed out during the recent Global Aerospace Summit.

Archer also signed a MoU with Air Chateau International, covering the planned purchase of up to 100 Midnight aircraft worth around $500m at the last Dubai Airshow. The parties will explore opportunities regarding the infrastructure investment required for these planned operations.

The strategic relationship aims at further strengthening Archer’s development strategy in the region. Archer intends to build an engineering centre of excellence to support the growing advanced air mobility industry in the UAE and across the Middle East.

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.