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Opener BlackFly

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markaeric

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I've been getting this quite a bit in my newsfeed the past week, so I'm surprised no one has posted about it here yet. It's called the BlackFly, and is made by some company called Opener. I'd post the video, but I find it to be overly produced and kind of annoying. You can easily find it, though, and it is worth a watch.

p06dk6p5.jpg

That said, it's an electric VTOL, and it's operation is.... interesting
 

cheapracer

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This must be the first one of a bunch of recent nonsensical craft I have seen that is actually being flown by a human.

Very clever with the fixed wings. AoA by F2R power balance and trim flaps by the look of it.

It does look very light though, maybe not full battery packs in it yet.

 
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cluttonfred

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Odd that the specs list the empty weight as 313 lb (142 kg) but the video and site claim that it is Part 103-legal in the USA. Even with a weight credit for batteries vs. 5 gallons of fuel (which I understand the FAA has not been willing to allow for electric ultralights) it's still too heavy.

I wish they would not call it a flying car and just stick with calling it a personal aerial vehicle. Still, I agree that it's a very interesting approach which is mechanically far simpler than almost any other I have seen and also appears to have undergone extensive flight testing.
 

henryk

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=huge propelles airstream magnifies Cl of wings...

-iff propellers stopped,vertical component of thrust force is zero +Cl essentiale decrease ! (high vertical descent...)
 

Derswede

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I predict a slew of UFO sightings as soon as several of those are flying....

"Honest officer, I SAW it....just hovering there, then it took off to the north, real quiet, just a whooshing sound.....!"

Derswede
 

BBerson

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If it flies at Airventure 2018 it will be a first of this category at Oshkosh. The SureFly is also expected this year.
Last year one flew over the water at the seaplane base. But so far none brave enough over land yet at Oshkosh.
 

Hot Wings

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Odd that the specs list the empty weight as 313 lb (142 kg) .
Could be the Canadian version? One article mentioned that the north of the border version had greater range and speed.

I'm kind of impressed with some of the out of the box thinking and bet there will be a far greater market for this than the Icon - depending on price point.

The "programed to glide to a landing" in case of power failure is suspect. With the limited wing area that "glide" speed will be a significant portion of the cruise speed.
 

cheapracer

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I'm kind of impressed with some of the out of the box thinking
I'm impressed with the idiot proof fixed wings Vs the complicated rotating wings on most of the other of the ilk.

But why not take the basic shape a bit further and make it a part helium balloon.
 

Jay Kempf

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Interesting approach giving up on landing gear. Watching all the videos I can find they have just some odd corners of the operating procedures like the nose up takeoff and transition but that makes sense when you think through the overall concept and how it would work in three different modes: hover, transition, forward stable flight...

But it works. Seems the inventor has gone through a whole lot of configurations to arrive at this first actual offering. Certainly light and simple is a good place to be. I do think the tilt wing config while more complicated does a better job of transition at the expense of more complicated operating and programming plus some hardware.
 

pictsidhe

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The FAA has decreed that there is no weight allowance for batteries. There is a 30lb allowance for an amphibious hull, which the Blackfly apperently has. So it's a mere 29lb overweight by my reckoning.
More troublesome is likely to be the power off stall speed. It looks to have about 80 sq ft of wing area and no high lift devices. Add in the really short span and it will glide like a turkey.
The Opener website specifies the US version as 313lb.

I see regulatory trouble ahead. While the FAA seems to ignore back yard experimentors, a mainstream ready-to-fly Jetsons toy will likely get their attention. If the Blackfly gets to flout the rules, so will everyone.
 

Tiger Tim

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The "programed to glide to a landing" in case of power failure is suspect.
I assume that's just a language thing. For you and me gliding means flight without engine power, but I suspect the public sees it more as a term for a smooth and controlled descent to land.
 

BBerson

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Not just VTOL (which is more than FAA can handle).
Worse, it is pilotless. So they can't begin to deal with that. Is my take.
 

Aerowerx

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The "programed to glide to a landing" in case of power failure is suspect. With the limited wing area that "glide" speed will be a significant portion of the cruise speed.
What do they mean by "power failure"?

How can it glide to a soft landing if the computers do not have power?
 

henryk

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If it flies at Airventure 2018 it will be a first of this category at Oshkosh. The SureFly is also expected this year.
Last year one flew over the water at the seaplane base. But so far none brave enough over land yet at Oshkosh.
-Who can see BLACKFLY at Oskosh Airventure ? (in fly ???)
 

Topaz

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I'll give them this: They've successfully demonstrated a manned (and actually carrying a person) VTOL electric aircraft, seemingly not only in hover and powered-lift forward flight. Just doing that with an actual person on-board is a step above most such entries. You never quite see the thing fully transition to forward flight (or back), so I don't know if they've actually accomplished that or not, but it gets far enough along in the transition that it seems to me that they're past the really nasty parts.

I suspect that it might get around the Part 103 stall speed requirement by being unable to land (in normal use) in wing-borne flight. In that sense, it's an "ultralight helicopter" for purposes of the reg. That's an opinion and guess, of course. As for the weight, well, it doesn't qualify as a Part 103 UL at the moment. We'll see how it goes.

It's a very early device in a niche that's still wide-open for basic exploration. Nobody has really done this yet. Some hovering, some UAVs, but a manned electric VTOL that's flown manned, and made a transition to wing-borne flight? That's something new. I personally wouldn't have any expectations that the first efforts in this area would spring, fully useful, from thin air. Even the airplane took some development to modern "practical" status.

IMHO, let's wait and see how they do. I wouldn't plop any money down to these folks yet, but it will be interesting to watch.
 
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