Archer, developer of an fully electric, passenger-carrying eVTOL, announced on August 10th that United Airlines has paid the company a $10M deposit for 100 of its initial production aircraft.
In a historic move this week, United Airlines became one of the world’s first major airplanes to make an official pre-purchase of a set of eVTOL aircraft. United originally formed a partnership with Archer in 2021, nearly simultaneously to the company’s launch on the New York Stock Exchange. Since then, United has continued to broaden its partnership with Archer, making further agreements towards commercial operations in May of this year.
This move marks a highly competitive approach by United Airlines, as American Airlines only last month announced an official financial commitment for delivery slots of Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 aircraft.
Archer’s ‘Maker’ is fully electric, with a range capability of 60 miles per flight at speeds of 150mph. According statements by United, the company envisions using the Maker to provide efficient, comfortable, and convenient air transportation within cities around the globe.
A prototype of Archer’s ‘Maker’ on the runway
According to a recent press release, Archer recently completed its production aircraft’s Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and is now advancing to the next stage of its commercialization efforts. The PDR lays out all aspects of the aircraft’s manufacturing requirements and specifications, necessary pre-conditions for regulatory compliance and market viability. It also ensures that that the development program is on track and the design is mature enough to proceed to the next development phase and kick-off of production of long lead time hardware.
Said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO, “I am incredibly proud of the entire Archer team as we reach this milestone in our partnership with United Airlines. To receive a cash deposit is validation of Archer’s achievements to date, not only with flight testing and product development, but also a great signal of confidence in our roadmap to commercialization. We’re thankful to United for their continued partnership as we usher in this new era in air travel.”
Said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures, “This announcement marks a new important phase in our relationship with Archer, and our commitment to EVTOL technology. We are witnessing an inflection point where consumers, businesses, and policymakers are all aligned to prioritize technology that reduces the impact of climate change. We believe eVTOLs have the potential to both help achieve carbon-neutral travel and serve as an innovative new tool to change how United customers experience comfort, convenience, and efficiency during their commutes within cities across the globe”
Why it’s important: United’s decision to place a cash deposit for so many of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft signals its desire to be one of the first airline operators to commercialize eVTOL aircraft, additionally lending a high level of extra credibility to the growing eVTOL industry as a whole. Following this commitment, the industry may expect a surge of renewed interest and growing investment, especially as American airlines recently made a similar commitment to Vertical Aerospace’s VX4.
Source // Archer