United Airlines has announced an agreement to work with air mobility company Archer to invest in emerging technologies that decarbonise air travel.
Archer’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are designed to use electric motors and have the potential for future use as ‘air taxis’ in urban markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, United will contribute its expertise in airspace management to assist Archer with the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft.
United, together with Mesa Airlines, will acquire a fleet of up to 200 Archer eVTOL aircraft that would be operated by a partner and are expected to give passengers a quick, economical and low-carbon way to get to United’s hub airports and commute in dense urban environments ‘within the next five years’.
United was an early stage investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy and recently partnered with 1PointFive, a joint venture between Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Rusheen Capital, to jumpstart the establishment of direct air capture and sequestration technology.
United CEO Scott Kirby said,
By working with Archer, United is showing the aviation industry that now is the time to embrace cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation. With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground.
Archer’s eVTOL design, manufacturing model and engineering expertise has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.
With today’s technology, Archer’s aircraft are designed to travel distances of up to 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and future models will be designed to travel further and faster.
Archer’s aircraft are capable of saving individuals time on their commute – United estimates that using Archer’s eVTOL aircraft could reduce CO2 emissions by 47% per passenger on a trip between Hollywood and Los Angeles International Airport, one of the initial cities where Archer plans to launch its fleet.
Archer plans to unveil its full scale eVTOL aircraft in 2021, begin aircraft production in 2023, and launch consumer flights in 2024. To drive this fourth transportation revolution and transform how people approach everyday life, work and adventure, Archer has built a highly accomplished team of top engineering and design talent, with a collective 200+ years of eVTOL experience.
Brett Adcock, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer said,
We couldn’t be happier to be working with an established global player like United. This deal represents so much more than just a commercial agreement for our aircraft, but rather the start of a relationship that we believe will accelerate our timeline to market as a result of United’s strategic guidance around FAA certification, operations and maintenance.
Adam Goldstein, co-CEO and co-Founder of Archer said,
The team at United share our vision of a more sustainable future. We’re working closely with their test pilots and environmental teams to make sustainable urban air mobility a reality far sooner than people could ever imagine.