A Silicon Valley company that started in Northumberland (Warkworth), moved to Cobourg and then to Palo Alto has now decided to occupy a space in the VentureZone in the Venture 13 facility. The product is a personal flying vehicle called the Black-Fly that works like a drone – electrically powered and capable of vertical take-off and landing. It qualifies as an ultralight aircraft in the US and Canada and has a range of 25 to 40 miles (depending on jurisdiction). Funding was initially helped by Northumberland CFDC in 2012 but they moved to Silicon Valley in 2014. The first flight of the high tech aircraft happened in Northumberland on October 5, 2011 but it was first publicly demonstrated in Palo Alto, California on July 12th, 2018.
Most of the development was done in secret – until now. Their goal is to “bring personal aviation to the general public”. The video below shows what a great machine it is but as always, it remains to be seen what the market is. No pricing has been announced although it is promised it will be “the price of an SUV” and available to buy in 2019.
Key Specifications/Information for BlackFly (photo at right)
- The company name is Opener and the CEO is Marcus Leng Web site here
- Opener is well-funded and will not be seeking additional investors for the foreseeable future.
- Capacity – one person up to 250lbs, 6ft 6in
- Classification: Ultralight (USA), Basic Ultralight (Canada), Amphibious-capable (freshwater)
- A pilot isn’t needed. No license and no training required (although recommended) – because it’s an ultra-light.
- Range (with reserve): 25 miles (USA); 40+ miles (Intl).
- Charging (Intl): 120 V / 15 A 20% – 100% Charge 7.4 hrs; 240 V / 50 A 20% – 100% Charge 67 mins
- Performance (Max Take-off Weight): Cruise Speed 62 mph (limited, USA); 80+ mph (Intl)
- To keep up to date, go on their Mailing List
- BlackFly was last exhibited at EAA’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI from Jul 23-29, 2018. (Second video below was taken at that show).
It has not been announced exactly what will be done at their Venture 13 space.
Below is their promotional video showing the capability of the BlackFly
This video shows more detail of the BlackFly’s development and features