Glimmering just ahead, summer offers the hope of beach days, picnics, hikes, ice cream until it hurts and, if the petsitter is available, travel. The minor (major) hassles of transportation–airplane delays or cancellations, a sea of brake lights–will be worth it. Certainly. But if one could reduce the transportation unpleasantries to non-transportation-related things like deciding which books to bring, or realizing that the extra hammock was not packed, there might be bigger smiles in those vacation photos.
OpenAirplane, now crowdfunding on SeedInvest, seeks to cut down on the transportation hassles by “making renting an airplane as easy as renting a car.” The airplane rental service launched in June 2013, and its network has grown to 88 locations in 34 states offering over 290 aircraft. Over 9,300 pilots have signed up to fly with OpenAirplane, and in 2014 the company booked over $100,000 in gross rental revenue. OpenAirplane’s co-founder and president is Rod Rakic, and its co-founder and CTO is Adam Fast, according to the company’s AngelList page.
With 56 days left in the campaign, OpenAirplane is aiming to raise $500,000, and currently has $0 invested. The company is also working at Bunker Labs, an accelerator program for veteran-owned startups at 1871 in Chicago. But with nearly two months remaining, and endorsements from Cessna Aircraft, Cirrus Aircraft, insurance underwriters and the aviation industry, it’s a campaign worth watching. Future plans include a charter product to offer travelers access to planes & pilots on demand, notes the website.
OpenAirplane allows flight schools, FBOs, flying clubs, and individual owners who join the OpenAirplane network to easily verify a pilot’s qualifications and training in each model aircraft. This allows pilots to have access to more aircraft with a nationwide footprint without the expense and hassle normally associated with renting away from their home airport, according to the company’s website.
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