Opener Reveals Ultralight eVTOL

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After nine years of covert development and testing, California-based Opener Inc. revealed what it is calling the world’s first ultralight fixed-wing, all-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft on Thursday. According to the company, the amphibious BlackFly has already completed more than 1,000 flights and flown over 10,000 miles. As an ultralight, the single-seat aircraft does not require an FAA certificate to operate.

“Safety has been our primary driving goal in the development of this new technology,” said Opener CEO Marcus Leng. “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 familiarization and operator training.” The aircraft has a ballistic parachute option and is geofence-compatible.

In terms of performance, the BlackFly has a range of up to 25 miles with reserves. In the U.S., its top speed has been regulation-limited to 62 MPH, although the company says the design is capable of speeds greater than 80 MPH. Its maximum payload is 250 pounds with an empty weight of 313 pounds. Opener says the BlackFly is capable of recharging up to 80 percent of its power in less than 30 minutes. The company has not yet announced a price or when they expect to begin deliveries, but it will be displaying the BlackFly at AirVenture this year.

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Comments (5)

What about the 254 Lb. empty weight limit for U.S. Ultralights?

Posted by: MEL ASBERRY | July 13, 2018 7:49 AM    Report this comment

Hi Mel,

Part 103.1 limits ultralights to "less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices which are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic situation." Although I haven't yet verified it with the company, my guess is that the extra weight is coming from that exception.

Posted by: Kate O'Connor | July 13, 2018 8:22 AM    Report this comment

Another thing to see at Airventure. I wonder if you registered it what category it would be? Would you be able to register it as experimental and increase the useful load or would you need a helicpoter license? Interesting questions.

Posted by: RODNEY HALL | July 13, 2018 11:50 AM    Report this comment

As the crow flies, I'm 15 miles from work.

Ground miles, it's a 45-min to an hour drive in the afternoon.

I'm interested. If not this particular make/model, others that are starting to hit the market. While some "aviators" disparage these "toys", at the right price it would fill my niche.

Posted by: Robert Ore | July 14, 2018 2:49 PM    Report this comment

I bet they get lots of orders from Drug Cartels who will make them autonomous.

Posted by: Mike P | July 15, 2018 9:24 AM    Report this comment

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