Opener will perform the first public manned flights of its BlackFly eVTOL aircraft at next week’s Electric Aircraft Association’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin – which takes place from July 26th-31st.
First revealed in 2018, BlackFly is described as the world’s first all fixed-wing, ultralight eVTOL aircraft. Measuring 13ft 7′ wide and 13ft 5′ long, BlackFly has a range of about 25 miles with 20 per cent reserves in the USA, with the range extending to more than 40 miles internationally. It doesn’t require a pilot’s licence to fly in the USA, but Opener has advised operators to successfully complete the company-mandated vehicle familiarisation and operator training.
In terms of speed, BlackFly has a limited cruise speed of 62 miles in the USA, with the number increasing to over 80mph for use outside of the country.
On Opener’s website, the company claims BlackFly’s noise consumption is 72 dBA when measured at 150ft while its energy consumption is 245 watt-hours per mile – compared to 270 wh/hr for a conventional electric car.
BlackFly has been through a rigorous testing schedule, completing more than 4,000 flights with a payload, 109,000 propulsion system endurance cycles – equivalent to 139 circumnavigations of the Earth – and more than 500,000 propulsion system extreme punch test cycles. To-date, the aircraft has flown more than 34,000 miles.
Opener CEO Marcus Leng first created the concept for a vehicle in 2009, before completing the first manned flight in a POC on October 5th, 2011. BlackFly’s first flight wasn’t until 2014, with the company relocating from Ontario to Palo Alto, California shortly after.
A first generation manned BlackFly vehicle was donated to the EAA Museum and put on display at its AirVenture event in 2019, and Opener has been a regular attendee to Oshkosh each year.
For more information about next week’s event, visit https://www.eaa.org/airventure