Sunday, 15 September, 2019

[H]ardOCP: Opener Unveils First Ultralight Electric Personal VTOL Aircraft for US Market

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionWATCH'Flying car concept on show Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWATCH'Flying car concept on show
Rhonda Young | 15 July, 2018, 17:22

OPENER CEO Marcus Leng says the company is "re-energising the art of flight with a safe and affordable flying vehicle that can free its operators from the everyday restrictions of ground transportation".

Developers have tested it in 1,000-plus flights and 10,000-plus miles flown.

BlackFly is an ultralight vehicle that consumes less energy than a traditional electric auto and is also built to be steathily quiet. But much as the 2008 question on everyone's mind was whether electric cars should come first or charging stations, the answer was as simple as a first-year Zen Ko'an conundrum: When at a fork, just take it! Instead, riders will have to take part in a training programme before being able to drive the vehicle. OPENER will be introducing this innovation in a controlled and responsible manner.

Opener joins a long list of companies chasing the ultimate science fiction dream of a flying vehicle, and thanks to rapid improvements in drone capabilities, that future seems closer than ever. The cost BlackFly should be equivalent to the price of the SUV.

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Earlier models may be more expensive, however. "BlackFly operators will be required to successfully complete the FAA Private Pilot written examination and also complete company-mandated vehicle familiarisation and operator training", the company said.

The hope is to democratize "three-dimensional transportation" such as flying cars, while maintaining safety. "We did a thousand-plus flights", Leng said. 'Autonomous. And we had a payload of 2,000 pounds'. First, the device was tested in Canada. The aircraft has a ballistic parachute option and is geofence-compatible.

'When you press the thumb-stick to climb, you have absolute full control.

"As long as you are not taller than 6'6" and weigh more than 250 pounds in the USA, you should be able to fly the 13'7" wide by 13'5" long aircraft, which is also 5 ft high. 'And when I say freezes... it literally freezes in the air'. It can travel just 25 miles on its electric batteries.

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That sounds very ambitious, but Opener has some serious support, including Alan Eustace, former vice president of knowledge at Google, who sits on the startup's board of directors. Page also backs rival flying auto designs by U.S. startup Kitty Hawk.

Remember the Kitty Hawk Flyer that was unveiled back in June? He claims the single-seat aircraft, with eight small but extremely powerful electric motors, can fly itself, like a drone.

The vehicle weighs around 220lbs (100kg) and can hit speeds of up to 25 miles per hour (40kph). He says the average person can learn to fly a auto like this after five minutes in a simulator.

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