United pays UAM firm Archer $10 million of $1 billion eVTOL order
Archer Aviation reported passing another milestone in its efforts to develop electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for use in aerial services like air taxis, with the receipt of a $10 million pre-payment from United Airlines as part of its 2021 transaction for 100 urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles.
The $10 million deposit by United represents a very small portion of the estimated $1 billion value of its February 2021 UAM accord with Archer, under which it agreed to buy 100 production-grade eVTOL aircraft. Still, given the quasi-universal conditional hedging common in deals involving aircraft still under development – many of which are memoranda of understanding or other formats with potential exits built in – the pre-payment offers an indication United intends to see their transaction through.
The United advance payment also provides a non-negligible infusion of cash for Archer’s drive to usher its Maker eVTOL prototype through…