DALLAS – California eVTOL startup Archer Aviation and United Airlines (UA) have announced the creation of a joint advisory committee.
The objective of the committee is to exploit UA’s maintenance and operational expertise to advise Archer in the development of its all-electric composite aircraft.
Archer and UA’s goal is to facilitate the “large-scale adoption” of electric aircraft for the future advanced air mobility (AAM) market by implementing systems and processes that can improve eVTOL operations. In the long term, the focus will be on the widespread adoption of urban air mobility (UAM) and eVTOL aircraft.
The formation of the committee marks another milestone in the Archer-United partnership, which dates back to February of 2021, when UA signed an industry-leading agreement to purchase US$1bn of Archer’s aircraft, with an option for an additional US$500m of eVTOLs. Both firms underlined that the agreement is subject to UA’s business and operating requirements.
United is also a contributor to Archer’s US$600m public investment in private equity (PIPE), related to the eVTOL developer’s merger with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Atlas Crest Investment Corp and its successful listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
The committee will include top figures from the two companies who will bring their experience in the areas of aviation operations, maintenance, customer satisfaction, and fleet management.
The board will be chaired by Archer’s Vice President of Engineering, Dave Dennison, and United’s Mauricio Angel, United’s Managing Director, United Express TechOps Strategy and Operations. The balance will then shift to UA’s side when looking at the members who completed the initial composition of the committee, with five members from United and three from Archer:
- Jason Onorati, United’s Director of Maintenance Programs
- Robert Bernard, United’s Sr. Manager Maintenance Programs
- Brian Johnson, United’s Director of Materials
- Monal Merchant, United’s Sr. Manager UAX Engines and Engineering
- Edward Espiritu, United’s Sr. Manager United Airlines Ventures
- Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO
- Tom Muniz, Archer’s COO
- Armando Chieffi, Archer’s Maintainability Lead
Adam Goldstein, CEO of Archer, set ambitious targets for the committee, “The formation of this advisory committee further demonstrates Archer’s commitment to building advanced infrastructure to support UAM at scale. The committee is set up to leverage United’s experience with industry-leading operating strategies in commercial aviation, a key tenet of our business strategy.”
He continued, “We understand that the adoption of UAM is about more than just the certification of our aircraft. United’s operational experience here will be invaluable as we work towards delivering aerial ridesharing at scale.”
Words promptly followed by Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures, “At United, we’re proud to be expanding our collaboration with Archer with an advisory committee designed to focus on key operational strategies and electric aircraft performance needed to achieve our shared goal of sustainable urban air mobility, while addressing the scale and sophistication needed to operate successfully, and most importantly, delivering the high-quality user experience our customers require.”
“Assembling this group of industry-leading talent, and harnessing the valuable insights it yields, will be a vital step in enabling consumer adoption of eVTOL.”
Featured image: Archer’s Maker. Photo: Archer