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Opener BlackFly v3

BlackFly v3
Opener
Palo Alto, California, USA
www.opener.aero

The BlackFly v3 is the third and latest model in the Blackfly series of eVTOL aircraft. It is preceded by the Rebel, BlackFly v1, and BlackFly v2, and is currently being manufactured for pre-production.

As the model utlized for pre-production efforts, the BlackFly v3 is naturally the most polished of its series. Relative to the BlackFly 2, the BlackFly v3 is capable of carrying a payload that is 50 pounds heavier, which constitutes an increase of 25% over the prior model. A ballistic parachute was added to this model as a further augmentation to the craft's safety features.

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 lbs (90 kgs) payload
  • February 2016: BlackFly v2 takes flight
  • November 2016: First 30 mile flight with 200 lbs (90 kgs) payload
  • September 2017: 10,000 miles flown with 200 lbs (90 kgs) 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 lbs (90 kgs) 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.

Description:

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

Classification:

  • Ultralight (USA)
  • Basic Ultralight (Canada)

Structure:

  • Epoxy-impregnated carbon fiber

Specifications:

Specification BlackFly v3
First Flight October 20, 2017
First Manned Flight N/A
Passengers 1 Passenger
Structure Carbon Fiber
Max Operator Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Max Operator Weight 250 lbs (113.4 kg)
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 313 lbs (142.0 kg)
Max Payload 250 lbs (113.4 kg)
Battery (USA) 8.0 kWh
Battery (Int'l) 12.0 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 %) 67 min
240 V @ 2x50 A (20% to 80 %) 35 min
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) 80+ mph (128.75+ 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) 20 miles (32.19 km)
Range (Int'l) 40+ miles (64.37 km)
Static Thrust (max.) 900+ lbs (400.2 kg)
Safety Fault-Tolerant Design,

Triple Modular Redundancy,

Ballistic Parachute (optional)

Noise Signature (Cruise @ 150 ft) 72 dBa


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