On October 5, 2011, history quietly was made near the small town of Warkworth, Ontario, Canada. That day saw the first manned flight of a fixed wing all-electric eVTOL aircraft. This event prompted the formation of a stealth company with the sole purpose of pursuing the development of this new unique technology. In September of 2014, the Company reorganized as Opener and relocated the majority of its operations to Silicon Valley in California to pursue an unencumbered and accelerated development timeline.
Marcus Leng develops concept for vehicle.
October 5, 2011
Marcus Leng makes first flight in a proof-of-concept vehicle in his front yard in Warkworth, Ontario, Canada.
BlackFly v1 first flight
Relocation to Palo Alto, California
First 2-minute hover with 200-lb payload
BlackFly v2 takes flight
First 30 mile flight with 200-lb payload
10,000 miles flown with 200-lb payload (minimum 30 mile flights)
First pre-production model flown, BlackFly v3
First manned flight of BlackFly v2
20,000 miles flown
Historic BlackFly donated to EAA Aviation Museum
Marcus Leng awarded the EAA August Raspet Award
30,000 miles flown
BlackFly v3 passes extensive cold-weather testing
Historic BlackFly donated to Hiller Aviation Museum
Wing assembly in full production
400 billion flight data points collected and analyzed
Ken brings decades of leadership experience to his role as Opener’s CEO. From engineering, operations, quality, and program management, Ken spent over a decade as a senior leader at AeroVironment, Inc, a global leader in Unmanned Aircraft and Robotic Systems. While there, Ken was VP and GM of the Efficient Energy Systems segment, SVP of Operations, and most recently, Chief Operating Officer. Earlier in his career, Ken served in engineering leadership positions at startup Touchdown Technologies, Agilent Technologies, Hewlett Packard Company, and Intel Corporation.
Ken earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is a graduate of Hewlett Packard and Agilent's year-long leadership development program, and earned an executive certificate from MIT Sloan School of Management. He holds eight US patents for technology innovations.
Dan joined Opener in 2021 and brings with him a wealth of finance and administrative management experience from several privately-held and public companies. Prior to joining Opener, Dan held senior management positions as CFO, VP Finance, and Corporate Controller.
Dan also holds a CPA from New York and is a member of the California Bar. He received his BS in Accounting from the State University of New York, Binghamton and a JD from Santa Clara University’s School of Law.
Alan has worked for Digital, Compaq, and HP's Western Research Laboratory. Alan was appointed head of the laboratory in 1999 after 12 years of working on pocket computing, chip multi-processors, power and energy management, and internet performance (among others).
In 2002, Alan joined Google, then a four-year-old startup. At Google, he worked as Senior Vice President of Engineering and as Senior Vice President of Knowledge until 2015.
Since October 24, 2014, Alan holds the world record for the highest-altitude free-fall jump from 135,889 feet.
Raised in Webster, New York, Ed earned a degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and later a doctoral degree in applied physics from Stanford University in 1989. Ed was selected for the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1994.
Ed flew on two Space Shuttle flights, one Soyuz flight, and served a 6 month mission aboard the International Space Station. Since retiring from NASA, Ed has worked at Google as Program Manager for Advanced Projects, and at Liquid Robotics.
Ed is currently the Executive Director of the B612 Foundation Asteroid Institute, and is a co-founder of LeoLabs. He is also a member of the SpaceX Safety Advisory Panel for crewed flights.
Ken is an accomplished flight test pilot with over 35 years of flight test experience in both Military and Civil aviation. His experience includes serving as Chief Test Pilot for a classified military test program, and Chief Test Pilot for light business jet OEMs. Ken is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School and former instructor at USAF and National Test Pilot Schools. He is currently consulting on both Civil and Military test programs as a project Test Pilot.
Ken has experience in over 100 different aircraft types, and is type-rated in numerous military, commercial aircraft, and helicopters. He has over 16,000 flight hours with a perfect safety record.
Ken is currently President of Precision Wings, LLC.
Opener founder Marcus Leng's personal interest in aeronautics began at an early age. He obtained a recreational pilot's license at the age of 18 and never stopped thinking about flight. After completing his education at the University of Toronto in 1983 with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, Marcus worked in multiple management roles with multinational corporations until venturing out on his own in 1986 to build a successful manufacturing company.
After selling his manufacturing firm and retiring, Marcus pursued his love of aeronautics. He dug into researching aircraft design and ultimately realized that converging technologies had the potential to revolutionize air travel. This epiphany inspired him. Everything from batteries, electric motors, and controllers, to carbon fiber technology, had reached a point where it was possible to produce all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) personal ultralight aircraft. Leng innovated motor, motor controller, and carbon fiber technologies and was awarded the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) 2019 August Raspet Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of light-aircraft design.
Opener is well-funded and will not be seeking additional investors for the foreseeable future.