Electrified Flight Takes Off with Opener’s BlackFly at EAA AirVenture


Opener BlackFly on Display at EAA Urban Air Mobility and Innovation Showcase

The AirVenture is an annual aviation extravaganza that the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) bills as “the world’s greatest aviation celebration,” held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Well more than half a million pilots, aviation enthusiasts and aerial thrill seekers land at Wittman Regional Airport. Nearly every inch of green space is filled with more than 10,000 airplanes, jets, ultralights and hot air balloons at this fly-in convention. If it can fly, it’s here.

I explored the massive event with photographer, John D. Ivanko, searching the latest in aviation trends. We couldn’t miss the Urban Air Mobility and Innovation Showcase in EAA’s Aviation Gateway Park near the front gate. As more people live in the city and more time is spent commuting in increasingly congested urban areas, technology is rapidly changing to allow for both electric-vertical-take-off-and-landing (known as eVTOL) and personal-aerial-vehicles (PAVs), fostering breakthroughs in urban aerial mobility (UAM).

History was made in October, 2011, with the first flight of the BlackFly, a fixed-wing, all-electric VTOL ultralight aircraft piloted by a human passenger. The electrification of transportation may have started on the ground with Tesla leading the way; now this electrification moving to transform air travel.

While there were many concepts and prototypes on display in the Urban Air Mobility and Innovation Showcase, like Embraer’s EmbraerX and Airbus by A-3 Group’s Vahana, Opener’s BlackFly seemed to be the first electric VTOL we’ll likely see plying the skies above our heads. Capable of traveling distances of up to 35 miles (limited to 25 miles in USA) and at speeds of up to 75 miles-per-hour (limited to 62-mph in USA), the BlackFly’s innovative design earned its Founder and CEO, Marcus Leng, the EAA’s 2019 August Raspet Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design.

“We believe that the future of transportation is electric, both on the ground and in the air,” says Ben Diachun, President of Opener. “Clean and efficient, electric propulsion is the system best capable of producing the power and fidelity-of-control for practical eVTOL PAVs.” For those rural residents who commute into small towns or cities for work or projects, eVTOLs may significantly reduce commute times, assuming such places are within the range of the aircraft. The BlackFly can be launched from a small patch of grass or even a pond or lake, since it also floats. If you make enough of your own power with a solar electric system like we do and could recharge an eVTOL with solar power, the BlackFly can truly be a sustainable mobility option.

9/7/2019 6:16:49 AM

Congratulations to Opener, looking forward to flying a Blackfly. But stop repeating the nonsense that Teslas are the safest cars on the road. Teslas actually have 3 times the fatality rate of comparable luxury cars. https://medium.com/@MidwesternHedgi/teslas-driver-fatality-rate-is-more-than-triple-that-of-luxury-cars-and-likely-even-higher-433670ddde17

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters