Archer Aviation has received a $10 million pre-delivery payment from United Airlines for 100 of the company’s initial production eVTOL aircraft. The payment represents a milestone for the eVTOL industry that validates the confidence in the commercialization of these aircraft. United has agreed to buy 100 of Archer’s production planes in 2021.
Archer recently completed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of its production aircraft and is now moving on to the next stage of its development and commercialization efforts. The PDR is a thorough review of the aircraft design to ensure that the program is on track and that the design is mature enough to move to the next phase of development and the start of long lead time hardware production.
The PDR establishes all aspects of aircraft specifications and manufacturing requirements, preconditions necessary to determine that the design is feasible for regulatory compliance and viable for commercialization. United’s decision to place a deposit for 100 Archer eVTOL aircraft signals its desire to be one of the first US airline operators to bring eVTOL aircraft to market..
The cash deposit prior to delivery represents a strong support from the airline for the development of the aircraft. United recently formed an eVTOL Joint Advisory Committee with Archer, allowing the parties to work more closely on eVTOL maintenance and operational matters. Committee members include Archer operations and maintenance leadership, as well as leadership from United’s maintenance, materials and engineering groups.
“I am incredibly proud of the entire Archer team in reaching this milestone in our partnership with United Airlines. Receiving a cash deposit is validation of Archer’s achievements to date, not only with flight testing and product development, but also a great sign of confidence in our roadmap to commercialization,” said Adam Goldstein, CEO of Archer. “We are grateful to United for their continued partnership as we usher in this new era in air travel.”
“This announcement marks an important new phase in our relationship with Archer and our commitment to EVTOL technology. We are witnessing a tipping point where consumers, businesses and policymakers are lining up to prioritize technology that reduces the impact of climate change,” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures.
“United Airlines Ventures has invested in a diverse list of companies working to support our goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, without the use of traditional carbon offsets. We believe that eVTOLs have the potential both to help achieve carbon-neutral travel and to serve as an innovative new tool. to change the way United customers experience comfort, convenience and efficiency while traveling within cities around the world.”