Archer Aviation, an electric aircraft startup that recently announced a public offering through a merger with a letterhead company, plans to launch a network of its urban air taxis in Los Angeles by 2024.
The announcement came two months after creating the Urban Air Mobility Partnership, a one-year initiative between Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and urban traffic laboratories to develop a plan to integrate urban aircraft into existing ones. Transport networks and land use policies. Urban Movement Labs, launched in November 2019, is a public-private partnership involving local governments and companies to develop, test and deploy transport technologies. Urban Traffic Laboratories and the City of Los Angeles are working on the design and access to vertiports where people can fly on urban air mobility planes. In industry parlance, Urban Air Mobility, or UAM, means a highly automated aircraft that can fly and carry passengers or cargo at low altitudes in urban and suburban areas.
Archer Aviation’s announcement came two weeks after it brought in United Airlines as a client and investor in its bid to become a publicly-traded company through a merger with a particular acquisition company. In early February, Archer Aviation reached a merger agreement with a specialized company to acquire Atlas Crest Investment Corp., which is becoming an increasingly common financial route to allow the startup to abandon the once traditional IPO process. The combined company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ACHR, will have a capital value of $ 3.8 billion.
United Airlines, a central hub in Los Angeles, was one of the investors in the deal. Under the terms of the agreement, United placed an order for Archer’s plane for $ 1 billion. United can purchase additional aircraft worth $ 500 million.
“Archer’s commitment to launch its first eVTOL aircraft at one of United’s hubs means our customers are one step closer to reducing their carbon footprint at every stage of their journey, even before they take their seat,” said Michael Leskinen. vice president of corporate development and investor relations at United Airlines, the statement said. “We are confident that Los Angeles is just the beginning for Archer, and we look forward to helping them expand their presence in all of our centres.”
Archer has where to go before he’s ready to carry passengers. The company has yet to mass-produce its vertical take-off and land electric aircraft, which is rated to fly up to 60 miles on a single charge at 150 mph. The company previously said it plans to unveil its full-scale eVTOL later this year and plans to start mass production in 2023.
Designing and building a helicopter hub is one of the many tasks to be completed in the next three years. Brett Adcock and Adam Goldstein, co-founders and co-CEOs of the company, said they are ready to use existing infrastructure such as helipads and garages in the short term. The company said its eVTOL system, known as “Maker,” matches the size of the existing infrastructure. This flexibility provided the Urban Air Mobility Partnership is aligned with the strategy could help Archer meet the 2024 deadline.