Archer Aviation Inc. 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 watershed moment for the eVTOL industry, validating confidence in the commercialization of eVTOL aircraft. United is making the deposit on 100 of Archer’s production aircraft which it agreed to purchase in 2021.
Archer recently completed its production aircraft’s Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and is now advancing to the next stage of its development and commercialization efforts. The PDR is a meticulous review of the aircraft design to ensure the program is on track and the design is mature enough to proceed to the next development phase and kick-off of production of long lead time hardware. The PDR lays out all aspects of the aircraft’s specifications and manufacturing requirements, necessary pre-conditions for determinations that the design is feasible for regulatory compliance and viable to bring to market. United’s decision to place a deposit for 100 of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft signals its desire to be one of the first airline operators in the U.S. to bring eVTOL aircraft to market.
The pre-delivery cash deposit continues a trend of strong support by the airline throughout development of its aircraft. Recently, United formed a Joint eVTOL Advisory Committee with Archer, allowing the parties to work more closely on eVTOL maintenance and operational matters. Committee members include Archer’s operations and maintenance leadership, as well as leadership from United’s maintenance, materials, and engineering groups.