Delorean: For­ward (and up­ward) to the fu­ture?

Pilot - - PILOT NOTES -

Remember the Delorean DMC-12, the in­no­va­tive sports car man­u­fac­tured in North­ern Ire­land, per­haps best known for its star­ring role in the 1985 movie Back to the Fu­ture? Well, the name Delorean is back. Not the car maker, but Delorean Aerospace, headed by Paul, nephew of the late ‘John Zee’ Delorean.

Paul Delorean’s vi­sion for rev­o­lu­tion­ary travel is the DR-7, a VTOL craft that will ac­com­mo­date two peo­ple in tan­dem seat­ing and be ma­noeu­vred via a pair of elec­tri­cally-driven 360º thrust-vec­tor­ing ducted fans. It will fea­ture a car­bon com­pos­ite mono­coque body shell and have an ‘au­ton­o­mous’ flight con­trol sys­tem that will also al­low man­ual con­trol ‘ for the per­for­mance fly­ing en­thu­si­ast’, al­though Delorean says that ‘min­i­mal pilot train­ing’ will be needed to fly the craft. As yet it ex­ists only in one-third scale model form, but a full-size pro­to­type is ex­pected to fly by the end of next year. The DR-7 will be about 20ft long, with wings that fold to 7.5ft width, ‘small enough to fit in most garages’. Cruis­ing speed will be 150mph, max­i­mum speed 240mph, and range on a sin­gle charge 120 miles.

“Our mis­sion,” says Delorean, “is to bring the free­dom and ex­hil­a­ra­tion of per­sonal air trans­porta­tion to the masses. With su­pe­rior de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing, our ad­vanced ar­chi­tec­ture pro­vides a prac­ti­cal, el­e­gant, and ex­tremely safe al­ter­na­tive to con­ven­tional air­craft, with the con­ve­nience of air­port-free ac­cess. For gen­er­a­tions we have been promised a fu­ture of ex­cit­ing options for sky travel, yet in the past cen­tury air­craft de­signs have changed lit­tle, with the best choices far out of reach for all but a se­lect few mil­i­tary avi­a­tors or the ex­tremely wealthy. At Delorean Aerospace we are ac­tu­al­is­ing the dream of prac­ti­cal and ac­ces­si­ble air mo­bil­ity.”

Movie-mak­ers, form a line.

CG im­age of the VTOL DR-7 in wing-borne flight

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