Archer ends 2023 with clear path to certification


Archer’s fourth quarter (Q4) 2023 results further affirm its pathway to certification, scaling and commercialisation.

The eVTOL developer, with liquidity of $625m, is in the final phase of its certification programme, its Georgia-based manufacturing facility is due for completion at the end of 2024 and, whilst the pathway is not simple, nearly 80% of aircraft subsystems and components are sourced from existing aerospace suppliers who’ve certified before. Some analysts have gone as far to say Archer’s Q4 2023 results could see it take the lead over current perceived leader Joby.

Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO said: “With the vast majority of the aircraft’s subsystems and components being sourced from leading aerospace suppliers with certification heritage we have a significantly de-risked path to certification from here. This year will be all about building conforming Midnight aircraft to be used in piloted for credit testing with the FAA and completing the build out, alongside Stellantis, of our volume manufacturing facility in Georgia. 

“We’re not just innovating within the realm of transportation, we’re redefining it, turning once-dreamt-of flying cars into an everyday reality.”

Whilst the construction of three conforming Midnight aircraft is underway, Archer’s flight test programme is making “rapid progress”, it said. Last year the firm completed about 40 test flights, in 2024 it expects to complete 400.

As noted earlier, Archer finished 2023 with a strong liquidity position of $625m. Cash balances are set to increase quarter-over-quarter too. The firm’s adjusted EBIT of $(87.5)m came in slightly above it’s $(75)-(85)m guide due to the acceleration of certification supplier expenses. This is expected to decrease in the second half (2H) of 2024. Archer also expects a decrease in adjusted EBIT in 2H24 from its Q1 2024 guide of $(75)-(95)m. 

The firm also received around $2m from the US Department of Defense in 2023 which is set to continue to develop in 2024. Other capital could also be unlocked through pre-delivery payments as certification milestones are met.