Opener is another Urban Air Mobility (UAM) startup focusing on an affordable, safe, and easy-to-operate electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. This one is called the BlackFly.
Opener hopes to cut down on time and money spent traveling via BlackFly. It also wants to lower maintenance and infrastructure costs while bringing people to places they never thought conveniently possible. But before we get there, the right people with the right experience need to reach key positions in the industry for our UAM future to unfold.
Ben Diachun is an industry veteran and innovator who is also now Opener’s President. Diachun comes from Scaled Composites and worked with the late Paul Allen on designing and flying the experimental air-launched rocket-powered aircraft SpaceShipOne. Diachun will report to Marcus Leng, OPENER’s founder and CEO.
Opener’s BlackFly is being hailed as the world’s first all-electric fixed-wing personal ultralight eVTOL aircraft. The BlackFly is a single-seat electric Personal Aerial Vehicle (ePAV) that can be mastered without formal licensing or special skills. You can use it safely in the USA almost right out of the box. It is designed for easy takeoffs and landings from practically anywhere and can travel up to 25 miles at 62 mph.
According to aviation genius Burt Rutan, the legendary American aerospace engineer and one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world:
“Ben Diachun’s spark of genius enhances any company he joins. As an engineer, Ben played a key role in the creation of 14 revolutionary experimental aircraft, and as the President of Scaled Composites, he developed a talented team, explored new innovations and ensured our growth.”
Ben Diachun added:
“Advancements in both propulsion systems and computing performance are fueling rapid developments in commercial aerospace, high speed transport and personal air vehicle travel. OPENER is the leader with Blackfly. As OPENER’s President, my goal is to take what has been accomplished by this amazing team to the next level, and successfully bring a safe and affordable flying vehicle to market.”
Finally, Marcus Leng had this to say:
“Ben Diachun knows what it takes to introduce innovative and transformative technology in a controlled and responsible manner. Ben has the kind of entrepreneurial mindset that creates sustainable, high-growth aeronautics companies, and we are proud to have him on the OPENER team.”
So far, the Opener Blackfly has flown over 22,000 miles with payload and over 40,000 full-length propulsion system flight cycles — the equivalent to 25 circumnavigations of the earth.
- Single seat
- PAV (Personal Aerial Vehicle)
- eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing)
- Fixed tandem-wing aircraft
- Full electric propulsion
- Classification Ultralight (USA)
- Basic Ultralight (Canada)
- Amphibious-capable (freshwater)
- Joystick, fly-by-wire electrical controls
- Epoxy-impregnated carbon fiber
- Landing surfaces
- Grass, asphalt, snow, ice
- Triple-modular redundancy
- Fault-tolerant design
- 8 fixed propulsion units
- 4 redundant elevon pairs
- Ballistic parachute
- Operating conditions
- 25 mph max wind (take-off and landing)
- 0 — 30 °C temperature range
- Up to 6 ft 6 in / 250 lb (USA)
- Up to 6 ft 6 in / 200 lb (Intl)
- 13 ft 7 in wide
- 13 ft 5 in long
- 5 ft high
- Weight 313 lb (empty) (USA)
- Battery 8 kWh (USA) 12 kWh (Intl)
- Charging (Intl)
120 V / 15 A 20% — 100% Charge 7.4 hrs 120 V / 20 A 20% — 100% Charge 5.5 hrs 240 V / 50 A 20% — 100% Charge 67 mins 240 V / 2×50 A 20% — 80% Charge 25 mins
- Range (with 25% reserve) 25 miles (USA, 200 lb) 40+ miles (Intl, 200 lb)
- Static thrust (max.) 1,000+ lbs
- Performance (Max Take-off Weight)
Cruise Speed 62 mph (limited, USA) 80+ mph (Intl) Stall speed 0 mph Max. climb rate 1000 fpm Max. descent rate 1000 fpm Take-off run 36 in Landing distance 36 in
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