26 June, 2023

Safran and Archer collaboration produces avionics technology for Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft


Safran Electronics & Defense and Archer Aviation Inc. shared details of their ongoing collaboration on cutting-edge avionics technology, which kicked off back in 2021. This collaboration is focused on delivering groundbreaking solutions to Archer that utilizes Safran Electronics & Defense’s industry-leading components that have a proven track record of safety and performance. The two companies have initially focused their development and testing on Safran Electronics & Defense’s ultra-compact avionics platform (UCAP) flight control computer (FCC) and SkyNaute navigation system, which are both used in Archer’s Midnight eVTOL aircraft.

Archer’s use of Safran Electronics & Defense’s UCAP FCC and SkyNaute navigation system is a key element of its goal of achieving the most efficient path to certification. For Midnight, Archer is focused on sourcing leading technology from world-class aerospace suppliers with certification expertise. Safran Electronics & Defense is a global leader in safety-critical software and hardware for the aviation industry.

Equipped with a powerful multi-core processor, Safran Electronics & Defense’s UCAP provides high-performance computing capabilities, as well as high-integrity and safety features. SkyNaute adheres to the safety and reliability requirements necessary for certification by relying on mature and proven technologies such as HRG Crystal (Hemispherical Resonator Gyroscopes). This innovative navigation system achieves high performance and integrity while providing a 35% reduction in size and weight when compared to alternatives.

“The joint efforts between Safran Electronics & Defense and Archer have fostered a close and strong strategic relationship, with both teams working hand in hand to safely bring the Midnight aircraft to market,” said Franck Saudo, Safran Electronics & Defense CEO. “These successful achievements with UCAP flight computer and SkyNaute navigation system help to pave the way for the entry into service of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Archer as we support their certification program."

“Our collaboration speaks volumes to the confidence Safran has in our path towards certification and commercialization in 2025,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO. “Lending their world-class expertise and support alongside our design and engineering teams is a critical component to our success and together we will redefine the future of air mobility.”

With a range of up to 100 miles and an expected payload of approximately 1,000lbs, Archer’s Midnight is a piloted, four passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between flights. Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60-90 minute commutes by car, with estimated 10-20 minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise and cost competitive with ground transportation.