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Opener is the latest startup to reveal plans for a personal aircraft

Swapna Krishna
The race to build a "flying car" has just become more crowded. This week, the

The race to build a "flying car" has just become more crowded. This week, the Canadian company Opener revealed its new vehicle, called BlackFly. The one-person aircraft can travel up to 25 miles at a speed of 62 miles per hour. Because the operations are a simple joystick, according to the release BlackFly shouldn't require a pilot's license, though operators will require training.

BlackFly is powered by "eight propulsion systems, spread across two wings," which will provide redundancy in the case of failure. The craft can take off from the water and is fully amphibious, but it's designed to work best over grassy spaces. The flying vehicle can Super Charge in less than 30 minutes and has an automatic-return-to home feature.

Opener hasn't disclosed exactly what the BlackFly will cost, but according to the BBC, it will be comparable to the price of a sports utility vehicle. Prices on early models will, of course, be higher, but the company wants to keep this personal aircraft affordable. "We will offer competitive pricing in an endeavor to democratize three-dimensional personal transportation," said Marcus Leng, CEO of Opener.

Larry Page, the Google co-founder, is one of Opener's backers. Page is also involved in another personal aerial vehicle startup, called Kitty Hawk. But those are just two of the companies working on a personal aircraft. Uber, Airbus, Volvo, Toyota and other companies are also frantically working on this tech. It remains to be seen which ones will emerge as the winners.

Global Newswire

  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.