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posted by hubie on Tuesday November 22, @08:12PM   Printer-friendly

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/340973-new-archer-midnight-evtol-air-taxi-promises-quick-trips-to-the-airport

Traffic snarls in some cities can make the trip to or from the airport longer than your flight, but Archer Aviation aims to change that by adding an additional flight. The company's newly revealed Midnight sky taxi is 100 percent electric and capable of ferrying up to four passengers and a minimal amount of baggage from urban centers to airports, and you could book a flight as soon as 2025.

[...] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) weight and carry-on allowances for passengers are low, just 200 pounds for men and 179 pounds for women. So, there's not much wiggle room in flights with all four passenger seats filled.

[...] Archer says Midnight has been designed to conduct back-to-back 20-mile flights with a 10-minute recharge in between. It has a maximum range of 50 miles and a top speed of 150 miles per hour.

The company's full-scale eVTOL will have a cruising altitude of about 2,000 feet, and it claims noise levels on the ground will be just 45 dBA, which is much quieter than current helicopters. Archer also says that the electric motors in Midnight are safer and easier to maintain than turbine or piston engines used in current airplanes and helicopters.

[...] It hopes to launch its first commercial services in 2025. United Airlines has already made a $10 million down payment on 100 Midnight aircraft, which could help it run its promised Manhattan sky taxi service.

[Ed. ] It will be interesting to see whether their costs and supply/demand work out that this services more than a very small number of wealthy clients.

Slick 90-second promotional video


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  • (Score: 1) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday November 22, @09:18PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 22, @09:18PM (#1281153) Homepage Journal

    can make the trip to or from the airport longer than your flight

    Been there, done that. 3 hours to the airport, 2 1/2 hours in the air, another 2 1/2 hours to get home. I could have driven all the way, in about equal time. Add in the time spent inside the airports at either end, and sitting on the tarmac, I definitely could have got home quicker if I drove.

    Every airline passenger plucked from a helipad wherever, is one less vehicle on the road, contributing to congestion. Let's hope they start lifting the majority of passengers from downtown!

    --
    "no more than 8 bullets in a round" - Joe Biden
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by MostCynical on Tuesday November 22, @10:21PM (4 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday November 22, @10:21PM (#1281166) Journal

    create company
    attract a designer or two
    create glossy promo videos and website
    find investors
    "lose" investors' money
    profit

    At least the Lillium [soylentnews.org] has managed a flying prototype [youtube.com]

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @03:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @03:35AM (#1281199)

      Likewise, Joby https://www.jobyaviation.com/ [jobyaviation.com] have been flying for several years now. Their stated business model is "vertical"--they want to build the battery electric 'copters and also run the air-taxi service.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Wednesday November 23, @01:23PM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday November 23, @01:23PM (#1281270) Journal

      Muskie, is that you? What are you doing on S/N and why don't you tweet your vision? (grin)

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @03:12PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 23, @03:12PM (#1281283)

        It can't be him. If it was, he'd wait until it was functioning, overpay by an order of magnitude for it, and transition it to a "hardcore" company after firing most of the workforce, then blame the lack of customers on "woke" criticism.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @01:22AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @01:22AM (#1281369)

          he'd wait until it was functioning,

          You mean functioning like his hyperloop and his boring company that moved road congestion in taxis traveling 50km/h in a claustrophobic tunnel? Or his autonomous pilot? Or his vision of the Tesla bot [bloomberg.com]?

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by legont on Wednesday November 23, @05:07AM (4 children)

    by legont (4179) on Wednesday November 23, @05:07AM (#1281208)

    A commercial aircraft has to have a 45 minutes flying reserve. Period.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday November 23, @01:15PM

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday November 23, @01:15PM (#1281269) Journal

      They all keep ignoring the elephant

      No, they are not. "just 200 pounds for men and 179 pounds for women" as "weight and carry-on allowances" takes care of both elephants and overweight Americans.

      A commercial aircraft has to have a 45 minutes flying reserve.

      Not a problem, they will have them classified as recreational aircrafts or something.

      See also ultralight aviation [wikipedia.org] and ballistic parachute [wikipedia.org] (one that can land the whole aircraft) as examples of aircrafts that do not have a 45 minutes flying reserve but are still able to deal with out of order landings.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Wednesday November 23, @02:04PM (2 children)

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Wednesday November 23, @02:04PM (#1281274)

      this is for short hops, as I understand it.

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @05:56PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 24, @05:56PM (#1281510)

        > this is for short hops,

        Even so, a reserve has been the rule and from memory it might have been more stringent in the past, "fuel to get to the alternate airport + 1 hour". Even a short hop can get in trouble if the destination fogs in suddenly, or any other reason that could close down the landing field. For a short hop, the departure airport might be the alternate?

        Haven't researched if the ballistic parachute has been allowed as a substitute for the reserve. While OK for flight over rural areas, the parachute doesn't seem like a good solution over a city with hi-rise buildings... Perhaps some reserve (to get away from downtown) plus a parachute would be acceptable?

        • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Sunday November 27, @01:28AM

          by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Sunday November 27, @01:28AM (#1281842)

          The video seems to suggest it can take off vertically and land vertically. The safety margin required in that case would only have to be any relatively small open area, of which there are many sorts. A stadium, a parking lot, a beach, any open field, etc. They let helicopters fly all over the place, why not these things?

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