At this point, reading about flying cars feels a bit like trying to nab a table at some umpteen-star Scandinavian restaurant. Reservations are hyper-secretive or nowhere to be found, and even if you do manage to tuck in to a plate of foraged lemongrass, you know it’s going to cost you and arm and a leg.
But among an aspiring auto-aviation landscape that includes options from a Google founder and Aston Martin, a bid from Palo Alto-based Opener is fixing to be the equivalent of your trusty, around-the-corner Italian joint.
Opener’s “BlackFly” is an all-electric, joystick-controlled hovercraft that’s resisted the temptations and trappings of other Silicon Valley flying car startups, instead prioritizing safety and ease of use. And most importantly, their founder Marcus Leng told CBS news they’ll be available next year.
All, apparently, for the price of a well-equipped SUV.
blackfly (4 images)
An emphasis on shifting the conversation from “impossible” to “inevitable” (to borrow from BlackFly board member Alan Eustace) typifies Opener’s mission. Why further conceptualize a concept that’s yet to be realized?
BlackFly is intended for commuters — the pragmatist's flying car, if such a thing can exist. The 13-foot-long vehicle utilizes return-home and auto-land features to simplify the navigational controls on an already intuitive joystick, cruises at 62-MPH and noticeably outperforms electric cars in the energy department. It only takes 25 minutes to charge, too.
As for whether their mission is realistic or just as lofty as the altitude at which it flies? Only time will tell.
Find more info on BlackFly’s scheduled deployment here.