Archer Aviation’s Maker eVTOL has successfully completed the first-ever “transition flight,” where the air taxi prototype was able to achieve a full transition from vertical, “rotary wing” flight to horizontal, “wing-borne” cruising.
The successful transition to horizontal flight marks a significant milestone in the ongoing development of the Made-in-the-USA Maker air taxi – that’s because, unlike most of the other eVTOLs currently under development, Archer’s aircraft takes off and lands vertically, but uses its wings to produce lift during cruising flight. That means it behaves much more like a conventional airplane from point to point, but one that can land (or take off) from just about anywhere.
“Transition is an important milestone for any vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, as it demonstrates in a single flight the capability to both takeoff and land vertically and cruise efficiently in wing borne flight,” writes Dr. Geoff Bower, Archer’s Chief Engineer responsible for overseeing Maker’s flight test campaign. “As you’ll see from some of the data below, the power required to fly Maker during wing borne flight is about three times smaller than during hover. Flying the majority of a trip in wing borne flight is critical to maximizing aircraft efficiency; in other words, carrying a payload at a high speed for a useful range.”
According to Archer, this first successful transition flight validates the aircraft’s design, and will be sure to open doors (and order books) throughout the aviation industry.
“This significant achievement is a testament to the countless hours of design, simulation and wind tunnel testing that our team has conducted behind-the-scenes,” continues Dr. Bower. “(We’re) looking forward to the commercialization of Midnight, we’ll continue to draw upon the incredible findings and lessons learned from Maker’s flight testing program.”
Let us know what you think of Archer’s chances of success in the future, in the comments.
Source | Images: Archer Aviation
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Source: Clean Technica