Delorean: Forward (and upward) to the future?
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