March 16, 2023

In Conversation: Adam Goldstein Archer Aviation

In this week’s episode of our ‘Sustainability in the Air’ podcast, Archer Aviation’s Founder and CEO Adam Goldstein speaks with SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam and shares how the startup is leading eVTOL commercialisation through incremental and innovative technologies that aim to make air travel greener.

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podcast Addict and Google podcasts.

Why eVTOLs will change the way we live, travel and spend time

Here’s a preview of the episode below. You can also read a deep dive that delves into Archer’s close partnership with United Airlines; how Archer is re-imagining a frictionless passenger experience of the future; why helicopters may be on their way out and much more.

Shortcut to the future

The next phase of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) platforms may have seemed like a pipedream for a while. However, in November 2022, United Airlines and Archer Aviation demonstrated that the future is closer than we think. Thanks to Archer’s upcoming eVTOL aircraft, named Midnight, United plans to commence commercial eVTOL flights as soon as 2025.

Goldstein says these vehicles – which can carry four passengers and a pilot – will not only change the way people move but also allow people to get a lot of time back. “Imagine the trips that you’ve been taking in your car – it would take you 60, 90, even 120 minutes of sitting in traffic. But you could instead fly to your destination in five or 10 minutes”, he asserts.

The inaugural route has already been announced – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York City in 10 minutes. Archer plans to complete certification of its aircraft – whose development is progressing faster than expected – by 2024, and build over 250 aircraft in 2025. “It’s a very exciting time in the industry”, declares Goldstein. “As the technology has matured, the regulators are all lined up to certify these vehicles, and there’s finally enough capital to actually get it done.”

Our Take

We have known of UAM as a promising concept for a few years now. Initially led stutteringly by helicopters servicing a tiny elite, the new vision is led primarily by eVTOL aircraft. These air taxis, as they are popularly known, promise to bring all our Jetsons dreams true by changing the nature of flying itself – by shortening painfully long routes, decongesting roads, while being futuristic and attractive to boot. The clincher: they will run on clean energy, will be nearly noiseless, and usher in a truly green era in aviation that will be accessible to the common man.

The future of green aviation demands that we innovate and improve our technologies continuously. Archer’s initial aim is to get to market as quickly as possible, to leverage the first-mover advantage. However, as Goldstein explains, in the long run, continuous and incremental enhancement will guide its eVTOL manufacturing.

Moreover, since big aerospace remains rooted in legacy processes and technologies, and functions essentially as a duopoly, eVTOLs might prove to be a necessary change. Such radical innovations can shake up the status quo and set fire to a series of innovations that might prove to be the need of the hour.

As Archer prepares to test its Midnight aircraft in 2024, we look forward to turning the corner – from the age of the Jets to that of the Jetsons.

Our Sustainability in the Air podcast is powered by SimpliFlying which has been helping build trust in travel for over a decade.

Season 3 is brought to you by our sustainability partners, Cirium and CarbonClick.

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In Conversation: Airbus’ Amanda Simpson


In Conversation: Air Company’s Gregory Constantine


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