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Wed, Nov 08, 2023

Aero-TV: Archer Hits the Mark at Oshkosh

Two-Minutes to Midnight

Painted in broad strokes, Archer’s Midnight is a single-pilot, five-passenger eVTOL aircraft evolved from an antecedent Archer design known as Maker, from which Midnight inherited a flight-architecture comprising 12 electric-motor/rotor assemblies: six five-blade tilt-rotors for forward and vertical flight, and six two-blade fixed-rotors for vertical flight exclusively. The entirety of the aforementioned motor/rotor assemblies are affixed by pylons to a single, high-wing of relatively high aspect ratio. The six tilt-rotor assemblies are positioned forward of said wing, while the six fixed-rotor assemblies are positioned aft of such.

Midnight’s 12 electric motors weigh a miserly 55-pounds apiece and have peak individual power outputs of 125-kilowatts (167-horsepower).  The powerplants’ power-to-weight ratio is approximately 3.04-horsepower/pound.

The motors are supplied electrical power by a sextet of proprietary eight-hundred-volt battery-packs comprising cylindrical, type 2170 lithium-ion battery cells provided by the Taiwanese battery manufacturer Molicel. Each of the six battery-packs supplies two motor/rotor assemblies and are interconnected in such a way that load may be varied and individual battery-packs isolated. In addition to providing redundancy in the event of motor or battery failure, the described Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) scheme facilitates reductions in power requirements of nearly twenty-percent at the battery cell level—compared to conventional high-voltage battery designs.

So motivated, Midnight attains and advertised cruise speed of 130-knots, a single-charge range of 17 to 43-nautical-miles—dependent upon aircraft loading and flight conditions—and a cruising altitude of two-thousand feet MSL.

Midnight’s ovular-cross-section fuselage sits atop a fixed, tricycle undercarriage; the machine’s empennage is of a V-configuration evocative of Beechcraft’s S-35 Bonanza.

Loaded to its maximum takeoff weight, Midnight tips the scales at seven-thousand-pounds. The aircraft’s maximum payload is nebulously cited as “one-thousand-plus-pounds.”

Archer’s strategy for Midnight’s deployment is predicated upon an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) model comprising twenty-mile back-to-back routes conducted in rapid succession. As Midnight’s design targets a one-hundred-mile-per-charge range, numerous such legs could be flown by a single aircraft.

For initial UAM operations, Archer will rely on existing infrastructure, such as the Manhattan heliport, which anchors a route to and from Newark; and Vertiport Chicago, a facility that will presently serve as the hub for an air-taxi route between the Midwestern metropolis’s famed downtown Loop and O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

©2023 Aero-News Network, Inc., ALL Rights Reserved

FMI: www.youtube.com/aerotvnetwork, www.archer.com, www.airbornetv.net, www.aero-news.net, www.aero-tv.net, https://vimeo.com/aerotvnetwork, http://twitter.com/AeroNews

 


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