Honeywell Expanding AAM Reach With Archer Technology Agreement

Archer eVTOL
Honeywell Aerospace will provide actuator and thermal management technologies to Archer for its eVTOL aircraft.
Credit: Archer Aviation

Honeywell Aerospace’s plans to supply flight-control actuation and thermal-management technologies to Archer Aviation for its electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) aircraft, expanding the legacy Tier 1 supplier’s range across the emerging advanced-air-mobility (AAM) market.

The actuation technology is a key component of Archer’s 12-tilt-6 configuration aircraft, and Honeywell’s thermal-management technology is expected to contribute to cabin comfort for passengers.

The agreement, for which details were not disclosed, marks a continuation of Honeywell’s efforts to expand its role in the AAM sector. 

“This is Honeywell’s first announcement of both actuation and thermal systems awards in the UAS/UAM space. However, that is not on accident,” Taylor Alberstadt, UAS/UAM global sales and marketing leader for Honeywell, tells Aviation Week. “Honeywell’s UAS/UAM group has always had the goal of becoming a provider of best-in-class offerings across the entire vehicle—not unlike how we provide nose-to-tail products on commercial aircraft today.”

Honeywell’s portfolio for the eVTOL and AAM sector includes the Anthem integrated flight deck, flight controls and fly-by-wire offerings, navigation and sensors, and propulsion—and now actuation and thermal management. “We strongly believe in the value of providing integrated solutions from that list, and we’re hearing that from our customers as well,” says Alberstadt. “We are bringing not only Honeywell’s existing aerospace portfolio to this new UAS/UAM space, but also new, tailored offerings necessary to bring about this market.”

Archer’s production aircraft are designed to operate in dense urban environments, requiring technologies that enable precision flight. According to Archer, Honeywell’s actuators can accept hundreds of micro adjustments and commands per second from fly-by-wire computers, enabling precise navigation.

In addition to the actuators, Archer selected the MicroVCS, Honeywell’s thermal-management system, which provides several advantages compared to conventional systems, including lower weight, higher efficiency and higher reliability in its size and power class.

“Honeywell’s position as an established leader in delivering advanced aerospace technologies will be critical to delivering on our goal of certifying our production aircraft in 2024,” says Archer CEO Adam Goldstein. “

In addition to its role on the Archer eVTOL aircraft, Honeywell is providing flight controls and AHRS on the Pipistrel Nuuva; avionics and flight controls on the Lilium Jet and is working on propulsion with Denso for Lilium; has a deal with Vertical Aerospace for avionics and flight controls, and has an agreement with Volocopter to test and develop navigation and automatic landing systems.

Archer had intended entry into service for its eVTOL vehicle in 2024, though the SMG Consulting/Aviation Week Reality Index lists that as unlikely.

Carole Rickard Hedden

Carole Rickard Hedden is Executive Editor for custom content and Program Excellence for the Aviation Week Network, providing custom content and research to industry executives. She also is Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week’s Advanced Air Mobility Report.