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Google cofounder Larry Page backs BlackFly flying auto

15 July 2018

Although widely described as a "car", BlackFly has no wheels, making more like a cargo drone with a human payload.

A flying electric vehicle called Blackfly has been demonstrated taking to the air around California by Opener, a Palo Alto-based company funded by Google co-founder Larry Page.

BlackFly can travel 25 miles at 62 mph, is fully amphibious, and allegedly so easy to use that you don't need a licence to fly it.

A Silicon Valley startup has unveiled an all-electric flying vehicle that can travel up to 25 miles at a speed of 62 mph.

BlackFly is an ultralight vehicle that consumes less energy than a traditional electric auto and is also built to be steathily quiet.

Users don't need a pilot's license to operate it, but they must take part in minimal training, including sitting in a simulator for about five minutes. OPENER will be introducing this innovation in a controlled and responsible manner.

If a dozen companies big and small are to be believed, flying cars are just a few years away.

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Earlier models may be more expensive, however. "Even though not required by FAA regulations, BlackFly operators will be required to successfully complete the FAA Private Pilot written examination and also complete company-mandated vehicle familiarization and operator training".

The hope is to democratize "three-dimensional transportation" such as flying cars, while maintaining safety.

The BlackFly has been developed and tested in stealth over the last nine years and the company has undertaken more than 1000 trial flights.

Californian company Opener has unveiled what it believes is the first flying auto you'll want. We did a thousand-plus flights, ' Leng told CBS. First, the device was tested in Canada.

BlackFly also has the option of being outfitted with a ballistic parachute.

"When you press the thumb stick to climb with this you have absolute full control", Leng said.

"You know it's not going to be foolproof but it will be much better than the current system we have now".

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"I've noticed in my career that things go from impossible to inevitable in a very short period of time", Eustace said.

Much like the Kitty Hawk, the vehicle is not created to be driven on roads and it carries many resemblances to a larger drone, fit for one human passenger.

Leng is joined by a board of directors that includes former Google and NASA employees. Finally, the range with reserve is expected to be 25 miles in the U.S. and over 40 for the rest of the world. "Opener is putting the fun back into flying and opening up a new world of possibilities".

There are other flying auto prototypes in development at rival companies, but Opener - which is funded by Google co-founder Larry Page - thinks the BlackFly will be adopted as it will eventually be affordable - around the same price as a typical consumer SUV.

The craft can fly autonomously, or under control of an operator. He says the average person can learn to fly a vehicle like this after five minutes in a simulator.

The prototype can only fly around 10 metres (33 feet) over water, and the video of the vehicle shows it gliding over a lake in California.

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Google cofounder Larry Page backs BlackFly flying auto