+VIDEO A US company has come up with an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft that actually seems feasible. It’s the BlackFly from Opener, Inc, a single-seat eVTOL that fits into the US ultralight category and the single-seat deregulated class (SSDR) in the UK.
Opener says that BlackFly is simple to master and requires no formal licensing or special skills to operate safely. It is primarily designed to operate from small grassy areas and travel distances of up to 25 miles at a speed of 62mph. It can also operate from water.
“Opener is re-energising 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 endeavour to democratise three-dimensional personal transportation.
“Safety has been our primary driving goal in the development of this new technology. Opener will be introducing this innovation in a controlled and responsible manner. Even though not required by FAA regulations, BlackFly operators will be required to successfully complete the FAA Private Pilot written examination and also complete company-mandated vehicle familiarisation and operator training.”
Opener revealed that its team has spent the last nine years in stealth mode, designing, developing, and testing new innovative technologies.
These include fault-tolerant design and triple modular redundancy. There are eight propulsion systems, spread across two wings, to provide for multiple-failure security. Opener says it has flown 1,000+ flights and 10,000+ miles.
The BlackFly has already won the admiration of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the aircraft will have its public debut at the EAA”s AirVenture Oshkosh event which starts on 23 July.
“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.”
Powerplant 8 electric props
Landing surfaces Grass, asphalt, snow, ice Empty eight 313 lb
Payload 250 lb
Range 25 miles
Cruise speed 62mph
Max rate of climb 1000ft/min