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BlackFly maneuvers over Oshkosh

The Opener BlackFly's two twilight flights were the highlights among a few showings by personal electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022. Opener’s Version 3 vehicle was on display, and flew in the night airshow and the Twilight Flight Fest. Last year, the BlackFly hovered only, and this year it added maneuvering—an impressive improvement to an already impressive airshow routine.

The Opener Black Fly eVTOL performs during the night airshow July 27. Photo by David Tulis.

Flight test engineer Wyatt Warner operated the BlackFly from the cockpit during the night airshow.

"I was just able to get in the vehicle for myself for the first time about a month ago and start racking up some human flight hours," he said. "I've had personally over 100 flight test sessions in the field…. It was a real dream come true to step into the vehicle for the first time." When flown remotely, the BlackFly is a drone and has an N number. When operated with a human on board, the 313-pound-empty-weight vehicle is an ultralight and requires neither an N number nor a pilot certificate to operate.

The company does not currently have a hard date when BlackFly will be available for purchase, stating that the priority now is to increase human flight hours and experience. Once in mass production, though, Opener expects it to retail for about the price of an SUV. Currently the single-seat, eight-motor BlackFly can fly for about 20 minutes at a time. Charging takes about 30 minutes.

"We're really excited to show the world some cool eVTOL technology," said Warner. "The flight controls are so intuitive…. The flight controllers are doing the heavy lifting behind the scenes."

"This is a big first for me, it's the first time I've been at an airshow flying," he said, noting that this is his first time at AirVenture. The BlackFly will make another appearance in the July 30 airshow at 4:50 p.m. Central time.

Alyssa J. Miller
Alicia Herron
Publications Content Producer
Publications Content Producer Alicia Herron joined AOPA in 2018. She is a multiengine-rated commercial pilot with advanced ground and instrument flight instructor certificates. She is based in Los Angeles and enjoys tailwheel flying best.
Topics: EAA AirVenture, Electric, Experimental

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