About Us

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 VTOL 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.

Timeline

  • August 2009

    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.

  • August 2014

    BlackFly v1 first flight

  • September 2014

    Relocation to Palo Alto, California

  • February 2015

    First 2-minute hover with 200-lb payload

  • February 2016

    BlackFly v2 takes flight

  • November 2016

    First 30 mile flight with 200-lb payload

  • September 2017

    10,000 miles flown with 200-lb payload (minimum 30 mile flights)

  • October 2017

    First pre-production model flown, BlackFly v3

  • March 2018

    First manned flight of BlackFly v2

Executive Team

  • Marcus Leng

    Marcus Leng

    Founder, CEO

    Marcus' personal interest in aeronautics began with obtaining a recreational pilot's license at the age of 18.

    Marcus graduated from the University of Toronto in 1983 with a Mechanical Engineering Degree. After graduation, Marcus worked in management roles with multinational corporations until venturing out on his own in 1986.

  • Ben Diachun

    Ben Diachun

    President

    Ben is well known for creating sustainable, high-growth aeronautics companies, and revolutionary new aircraft. Prior to joining Opener, Ben led Scaled Composites in Mojave, California as its president and, over his 16-year tenure, he held key technical and leadership roles. While at Scaled, Ben helped develop multiple new experimental aircraft types from concept to first flight, including the non-stop, non-refueled, around-the-world GlobalFlyer; the first commercial manned spaceship, SpaceShipOne, and SpaceShipTwo; as well as the optionally-piloted/UAV Firebird demonstrator.

    Ben holds an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. He earned a Certificate in Technical Management from UCLA and Financial Management from the University of Virginia. Additionally, Ben serves on the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Industrial Advisory Council at Purdue University and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Board of Directors.

    In 2014, Ben was named in Aviation Week’s “40 Under Forty”. Ben is also a Commercial Pilot with Instrument, Multi-Engine, and Seaplane Ratings.

Technical Advisors

  • Alan Eustace

    Alan Eustace

    Director

    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.

  • Ed Lu

    Ed Lu

    Advisor

    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 Sasine

    Ken Sasine

    Advisor

    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.

Investors

Opener is well-funded and will not be seeking additional investors for the foreseeable future.