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Marcus Leng Receives EAA 2019 August Raspet Award

Creator Of BlackFly Recognized For World’s 1st Fixed-Wing, All-Electric Vertical Take-Off And Landing (eVTOL), Personal Ultralight Aircraft

OPENER Founder and CEO Marcus Leng has been awarded the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) 2019 August Raspet Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design. Leng innovated modern battery and motor technologies to produce BlackFly, the world’s first fixed-wing, all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) personal ultralight aircraft.

“Marcus Leng has pioneered a new era in manned flight with the development of BlackFly,” said Charlie Becker, EAA Lifetime #515808, Director of Chapters, Communities & Homebuilt Community Manager. “His unique approach has created an all-electric VTOL ultralight aircraft that has truly advanced light aircraft design.”

“I am honored to receive the EAA August Raspet Award for my work on developing an affordable eVTOL aircraft,” said Marcus Leng, Founder and CEO of OPENER. “I began this endeavour to build vehicles that I would like to fly. It has been an unbelievable journey, but would not have been possible without the incredibly dedicated and talented Opener team.”

Leng joins many other aviation luminaries including Burt Rutan, Dick VanGrunsven and Curtiss Pitts in receiving this award.

Since 1960, the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award has been presented every year to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design.

The award is named for the late Dr. August "Gus" Raspet, a professor at Mississippi State University and avid light aircraft enthusiast. Raspet was instrumental in elevating the aeronautical engineering program at Mississippi A&M College, as it was originally known, into one of the nation's preeminent aerophysics research centers. The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in Starkville, Miss. - a tribute to all of his efforts - was completed in 1962.

The first recipient of the award was John Thorp, Lockheed engineer on the Little Dipper and Big Dipper, and designer of the Thorp Aviation Sky Skooter. Since then the list of people honored reads like a Who's Who of aircraft design.

(Image provided with OPENER news release. [L-R] Charlie Becker, EAA and Marcus Leng)



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