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United Airlines developing electric air taxes

Jamal Niaz morson news

Image 2021 02 16 T14 45 39

​US airline United has announced plans to partner with Archer Aviation on the development of up to 200 electric air taxis.

Start-Up company, Archer, is one of several companies joining the emerging urban air transport industry with the latest form of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft.

Archer’s initial four passenger vehicle known as ‘Maker’ can fly at speeds of up to 240km with a range of 100km. It accomplishes this by using six five-blade tilt rotors and six two-blade tilt rotors. United has now ordered 200 of the aforementioned Makers with the order being worth $1.1 billion and an option for another $500 million to spend.

Archer was founded in May 2020 and is one of the first eVTOL companies to have a major order on its books. Earlier this month it announced that it was merging with Atlas Crest Investment Corp, a special purpose acquisition company that will eventually see Archer publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange 

According to Archer, the Maker will be able to fly from Manhattan to JFK Airport in seven minutes at a cost of just $50 per passenger. United plans on using the vehicles to link to it’s airports more rapidly, along with zero tailpipe emissions, and expects the first of these to be in operation in five years.

United CEO Scott Kirby stated:

“Part of how United will combat global warming is by embracing emerging technologies that decarbonise air travel. With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground. Archer’s eVTOL design, manufacturing model and engineering expertise has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.”

Brett Adcock, co-CEO and co-founder of Archer added:

“This deal represents so much more than just a commercial agreement for our aircraft, but rather the start of a relationship that we believe will accelerate our timeline to market as a result of United’s strategic guidance around FAA certification, operations and maintenance,”

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