California-based Archer, a company designing and developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL), debuted its Maker aircraft both live in Los Angeles and streamed to a global audience on the evening of June 10. The in-person event was held at the Hawthorne Hangar Operations and utilized XR technology to take audiences on a virtual ride on Maker.
In order to create a unique and completely immersive experience, Archer utilized movie production technology to bring its aircraft to life, an eVTOL industry first. The company built a 2,400 sq ft XR volume space that simulated a commercial flight and demonstrated how Archer will shape the next era of travel by transforming how people approach everyday life, work, and adventure. By creating a mass shared simulation using the film industry’s most cutting edge technology, attendees were able to virtually ride Archer’s aircraft.
“Archer has a big, bold company vision and our approach to this milestone moment had to match that,” said Louise Bristow, who leads Marketing and Communications for Archer and assembled the creative team. “We wanted to deliver an experience that went beyond the conventions of normal product launches and to bring together a unique group of partners to create something truly immersive for our audience.”
“Maker’s unveil has been years in the making and marks a pivotal juncture for the eVTOL industry and future of transportation,” said Brett Adcock, co-founder and co-CEO of Archer. “Every day at Archer, we’re working to build the future, and we have never felt closer than we did introducing the world to Maker.”
Adam Goldstein, co-founder and co-CEO of Archer added “We’re excited to continue reaching new milestones and introducing our largest cities to the next generation of safe, sustainable travel.”
See the virtual reality launch video here.
Maker’s unveil is the latest example of Archer’s continued momentum, setting the stage for the next phase of engineering and flight testing.
Maker is a fully autonomous demonstrator aircraft and can fly at 150mph for distances of up to 60 miles. Its purpose is to advance Archer’s work on certification and development of its key enabling technologies.
On the back of 20 years of advancements in electric power systems, the Archer team says that it has built an affordable, safe, and low noise eVTOL aircraft. These aircraft take off vertically like a helicopter, fly forward like an airplane, and are 100% electric.
Archer claims that it will enable trips that are 10 times faster than a car and, when cruising overhead at 2000 feet above the ground, Maker is anticipated to be 100 times quieter than a helicopter generating only 45dB of sound.
Maker has a 40ft wingspan and weighs around 3300 pounds. Maker’s tiltrotor design differentiates it from a helicopter or general aviation airplane: Traditional helicopter rotors have a tip speed of Mach 0.7, while Maker’s are down in the less than .4 range. it has a total of 12 rotors: six tilting rotors in front of the wing and six fixed rotors used for transition phase only used for hover and cruise. Maker has six independent battery packs. It is 100% electric and generates zero carbon emissions. Maker is designed to operate out of existing infrastructure including heliports and airports.
With backing from the United Airlines commercial order and the recently announced merger with Atlas Crest Investment Corporation, the company is valued at $3.8 billion. Archer states that it is in an excellent financial position to continue on its accelerated timeline toward commercial launch in 2024. The first flight is expected in the fourth quarter of 2021, with manufacturing beginning in 2022.