Opener, a pioneer of aero vehicles for consumer travel, has unveiled BlackFly, the world’s first ultralight all-electric fixed-wing extreme short/vertical take-off and landing (ESTOL/VTOL) aircraft. BlackFly is a single-seat Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV) designed and built for a new world of three-dimensional transportation. BlackFly has simple controls requiring no special skills to master and operate safely. Though BlackFly has full amphibious capabilities, it is primarily designed to easily operate from small grassy areas and travel distances of up to 40 miles at a speed of 72 mph.
“Opener is re-energizing the art of flight with a safe and affordable flying vehicle that can free its operators from the everyday restrictions of ground transportation,” said Marcus Leng, CEO. “We will offer competitive pricing in an endeavor to democratize three-dimensional personal transportation. Safety has been our primary driving goal in the development of this new technology. BlackFly operators will be required to complete company-mandated vehicle familiarization and operator training. In Canada, ultralight pilot licences are also required.”
The Opener team has spent the last nine years in stealth mode, designing, developing, and testing new innovative technologies which have now evolved into the zero-emission BlackFly vehicles. Fault-tolerant design and triple modular redundancy reside at the core of these vehicles. Eight propulsion systems, spread across two wings, provide for multiple-failure security. Years of continuous testing, combined with 1,400+ flights and 12,000+ miles flown, form the bedrock of Opener’s development program.
“The future of Aviation begins today,” said Alan Eustace, Director at Opener and former Senior Vice President of Knowledge at Google. “The dream of flight, which was so difficult and expensive to obtain, will soon be within the reach of millions. Opener is putting the fun back into flying and opening up a new world of possibilities.”
“I just saw the future. Watching BlackFly take flight just blew me away. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Darren Pleasance, EAA Board of Directors. “The magnitude of innovation that OPENER has been driving in electric motors, aerodynamics, and VTOL operations is stunning and inspiring. OPENER has made a huge step forward in bringing the Jetson’s world to life.”
Opener’s long-term vision is to integrate these highly-efficient vehicles into a rural/urban commuting network. These networks would be powered by renewable energy sources requiring only a fraction of the transportation energy used currently.
Opener vehicles will be on display at the 2018 EAA AirVenture Convention in Oshkosh, WI, through July 29, 2018. The public is invited to view the vehicles in the Innovation Showcase, booths IC-12A and 13A, and also experience three-dimensional flight by operating the vehicles in a virtual reality simulation.