On The Radar
Archer Details eVTOL Program Milestones That Will Release Stellantis Funding
A new 8K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides significant details regarding the terms under which automotive group Stellantis will be providing eVTOL aircraft developer Archer Aviation with $150 million in fresh equity capital. The agreement, announced on January 4, said the funds would be subject to certain program milestones being achieved and these are detailed in the January 9 filing.
Archer can access an initial $25 million as soon as the partners’ collaboration agreement is executed. A further $70 million will be available on or after June 30, 2023, subject to the FAA accepting Archer’s proposed means of compliance covering all airworthiness criteria for its four-passenger Midnight vehicle. The final $55 million tranche of new funding will be released on or after Jan. 1, 2024, if Archer has achieved a full transition from hover to wing-borne flight with a Midnight prototype aircraft.
During an event in November at Palo Alto Airport in California, Archer revealed a non-flying mock-up of the Midnight aircraft. The company said that more details about the first operational prototype for the Midnight will be released later in 2023.
The latest 8K filing specifies that the transition flight can be conducted in either a full production version of the Midnight or in an aircraft designated as Midnight-0, which Archer describes as a “preproduction version of Midnight that incorporates Midnight’s latest powertrain technology.” Archer has been flight testing its two-seat Maker technology demonstrator since December 2021 and recently achieved a transition flight with this vehicle.
Under the new agreement with Stellantis, which is already an investor in Archer, the automaker will now take full responsibility for producing the Midnight. Archer is aiming to certify the all-electric aircraft with the FAA by the end of 2024 and be ready to start deliveries and launch commercial air taxi services in 2025.