A Silicon Valley startup has unveiled an all-electric flying vehicle that can travel up to 25 miles at a speed of 62 mph. Known as the BlackFly, the aero car requires no special skills to operate and no formal licensing in the US.
The futuristic-looking personal aviation vehicle designed purely for consumer needs was developed at the Silicon Valley-based Opener, by a team led by Canadian entrepreneur Marcus Leng.
Leng made the first flight of a “proof-of-concept vehicle” in his front yard in Warkworth, Ontario, Canada back in 2011, before relocating his company to California to pursue his dream of creating the “world’s first ultralight all-electric fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.”
Seven years on, the startup has developed a fully functional dual-wing, eight-rotor craft which has been tested in the air more than 1,400 times, covering a distance of more than 12,000 miles. BlackFly is even packed with “full amphibious capabilities” and can ideally take off from any small patch of grass.
Capable of covering distances of up to 25 miles at a speed of 62 mph, the zero-emission vehicle comes with a lot of high tech features as well as a supercharging mode to repower the flying machine in less than 30 mins.
While the developer claims the BlackFly is simple to master and requires no formal licensing in the States, operating the VTOL will require captains to complete the FAA Private Pilot written examination and pass vehicle familiarization and operator training. While the cost of the unit has not yet been made public, the developer claims the price will be “competitive.”
“OPENER is re-energizing the art of flight with a safe and affordable flying vehicle that can free its operators from the everyday restrictions of ground transportation,” said Leng. “We will offer competitive pricing in an endeavor to democratize three-dimensional personal transportation.”
Eventually, the startup wants to create a rural/urban commuting network which would allow the vehicles to recharge when traveling long distances using renewable energy sources.
“The future of Aviation begins today,” said Alan Eustace, Director at Opener and former Senior Vice President of Knowledge at Google. “The dream of flight, which was so difficult and expensive to obtain, will soon be within the reach of millions. Opener is putting the fun back into flying and opening up a new world of possibilities.”
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