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Opener BlackFly V1


BlackFly V1
Opener Aero
Palo Alto, California, USA

The BlackFly V1 is the second aircraft in the BlackFly series, preceded by the Rebel and followed by the BlackFly V2 and BlackFly V3. The first flight of the BlackFly V1 marked an important turning point for the company, which changed title to "Opener" and relocated to Palo Alto, California following the flight.

As the second prototype in the series, the BlackFly V1 makes several key departures from its predecessor. Unlike the Rebel, the BlackFly V1 was not used as a passenger aircraft. It is wider and longer than the Rebel by five feet, and taller by two. It is also 74 pounds heavier than the Rebel and capable of carrying a larger payload.

Opener, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, provides a timeline on its website. Engineer Marcus Leng (now CEO of Opener) began developing the concept in August 2009, and made what appears to "the first manned flight of a fixed-wing all-electric VTOL aircraft" on Oct. 5, 2011, at his home in Warkworth, Canada in Ontario, 90 miles east of Toronto.

In Canada (unlike the US), ultralight aircraft must be registered. Leng registered three prototype ultralights with Transport Canada under the company name SkyKar, Inc.:

  • The Rebel (serial number 0011) as C-IJQV on Dec. 15, 2011
  • BlackFly (001) as C-IKLT on March 11, 2014
  • BlackFly (002) as C-IKLY on May 6, 2014

After the flight of the BlackFly V1, Leng founded Opener and relocated the majority of its operations to Silicon Valley, "to pursue an unencumbered and accelerated development timeline" with more investment capital. Additional milestones followed:

  • August 2009: Vehicle concept created
  • October 2011: Rebel SkyKar first flight
  • August 2014: BlackFly V1 first flight
  • February 2015: First 2-minute hover with 200 lb (90 kg) payload
  • February 2016: BlackFly V2 takes flight
  • November 2016: First 30 mile flight with 200 lb (90 kg) payload
  • September 2017: 10,000 miles flown with 200 lb (90 kg) payload (minimum 30 mile flights)
  • October 2017: BlackFly V3 first flight of pre-production model
  • March 2018: BlackFly V2 first manned flight
  • September 2018: 20,000 miles flown with 200 lb (90 kg) payload
  • March 2019: Pre-production manufacturing begins.

In March 2019, pre-production manufacturing began. During EAA Airventure 2019 (July 22-28, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA), Opener trade show booth displays stated: 23,000 plus miles flown (37,015 plus km), over 2,300 flights had taken place, BlackFly can be disassembled and fit into a small truck, you can quickly assemble the aircraft in 30 minutes and fly, it has supercharging which means it can charge to 80% in 25 minutes and it has take-off and landing assistance.


  • Single seat
  • PAV (Personal Aerial Vehicle)
  • VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing)
  • Fixed tandem-wing aircraft


  • Ultralight (USA)
  • Basic Ultralight (Canada)


  • Epoxy-impregnated carbon fiber


Specification BlackFly V1
First Flight August 11, 2014
First Manned Flight N/A
Passengers Payload only
Structure Carbon Fiber`
Max Operator Height N/A
Max Operator Weight N/A
Propulsion 8 Custom Motors
Width 13 ft 7 in (4.1 m)
Length 13 ft 5 in (4.08 m)
Height 5 ft (1.52 m)
Empty Weight 310 lbs (140.6 kg)
Max Payload 200 lbs (90.7 kg)
Battery (USA) 8.0 kWh
Battery (Int'l) 8.0 kWh
120 V @ 15 A (20% to 100%) 7.4 hrs
120 V @ 20 A (20% to 100%) 5.5 hrs
240 V @ 50 A (20% to 100%) 1.2 hrs
240 V @ 2x50 A (20% to 80%) N/A
Max Wind 25 mph (40.23 kph)
Temperature Range 32°F - 86°F (0°C - 30°C)
Takeoff in Precipitation No
Performance (@ Max Take-off Weight)
Cruise Speed (USA) 62 mph (limited) (99.78 kph)
Cruise Speed (Int'l) 100+ mph (160.93+ kph)
Max. climb rate 1000 fpm (5.08 m/s)
Max. descent rate 1000 fpm (5.08 m/s)
Take off run 3 ft (0.91 m)
Landing distance 3 ft (0.91 m)
Range (with 25% reserve in USA) 12+ miles (19.31+ km)
Range (Int'l) N/A
Static Thrust (max.) N/A
Safety Fault-Tolerant Design
Noise Signature (Cruise @ 150 ft) N/A

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