Aircraft

DR-7 could make a flying DeLorean a reality

The DeLorean DR-7 can park in a home garage
The DeLorean DR-7 can park in a home garage
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The DeLorean DR-7 can park in a home garage
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The DeLorean DR-7 can park in a home garage
The DeLorean DR-7 uses a pair of electric fans for lift and control
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The DeLorean DR-7 uses a pair of electric fans for lift and control
The DeLorean DR-7 fans are electrically powered
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The DeLorean DR-7 fans are electrically powered
The DeLorean DR-7 has a composite fuselage
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The DeLorean DR-7 has a composite fuselage
The DeLorean DR-7 seats two
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The DeLorean DR-7 seats two
The DeLorean DR-7 has an autonomous flight system
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The DeLorean DR-7 has an autonomous flight system
The DeLorean DR-7 is a monocoque construction
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The DeLorean DR-7 is a monocoque construction
The DeLorean DR-7 can take off and land vertically
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The DeLorean DR-7 can take off and land vertically
The DR-7 is a flying car being developed by DeLorean Aerospace
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The DR-7 is a flying car being developed by DeLorean Aerospace

DeLorean is a name associated with a certain brushed stainless steel supercar, but now it's being added to aircraft. DeLorean Aerospace is developing a two-person VTOL aircraft called the DR-7 that combines rotating ducted lift/propulsion fans with an autonomous flight control system, allowing it to be flown by a minimally trained pilot.

DeLorean Aerospace was founded in 2012 by Paul DeLorean, the nephew of John DeLorean, the automotive industry executive who founded the DeLorean Motor Company whose only model was the now famous DMC-12 piloted by Doc Brown in the Back to the Future films. Although that car flew at the end of the first film in the trilogy, the DR-7 is intended to make a flying DeLorean a reality.

With its short, foldable wings and canards, the DR-7 is designed to be "compact, lightweight, and deceptively simple." It measures 19.5 ft (6 m) long and has a wingspan of 18.5 ft (5.6 m), but the wings fold to give the vehicle a width of 7.5 ft (2.3 m), allowing it to fit in a home garage or parking space. It would boast a composite monocoque fuselage with tandem seating and features a stall-resistant canard wing.

What really sets the DR-7 apart from other flying car designs are a pair of centerline, 360-degree thrust-vectoring electric ducted-fan nacelles, which the company says are simpler and cheaper compared to similar multi-engine designs, yet provide better performance, reliability, and greater stability. In addition, the autonomous flight system has a manual mode to suit the desires of more experienced aviators.

The DeLorean DR-7 can park in a home garage
The DeLorean DR-7 can park in a home garage

The fans at the heart of he vehicle's centerline twin vectoring propulsion system (CTV) are used for both propulsion and control. In horizontal mode, they provide lift and hovering capabilities, and allow the aircraft to operate from short air strips. In vertical mode, they propel forward flight. And by tilting the fans in coordination, they can also replace the conventional ailerons and rudder to reduce drag.

DeLorean says that the rechargeable electric powertrain would provide the DR-7 with a top speed of 240 mph (386 km/h) and see it cruise at 150 mph (241 km/h) for a range of 120 mi (193 km).

A patent-pending failsafe system is designed to deal with power emergencies in hover or forward flight, and the company sees the DR-7 as suitable for private use or as urban air taxis. No word yet on when it will fly or how much it will cost, but two scale models have been constructed as a proof of concept and a full-size piloted prototype is now in the works.

Source: DeLorean Aerospace

24 comments
SamB
The 10 year old me just had a moment 'down there' when looking at the renders.
Imran Sheikh
Without rudder turning will be tricky.. I would suggest making an IC version first to see if it's really possible.. also the seating position needs to be pulled back for better center of gravity.. good to see a company that care for real future..
highlandboy
The propellers would need to be mounted considerably above the centre of gravity or any turbulence will flip it. Having one propeller enclosed and in front of the driver/pilot would significantly reduce visibility, particularly in low speed manouvers.
Leonard Foster Jr
This stuff never leaves tethers and a few feet off the ground Vaporware However $$$$ will be lifted from peoples bank accounts.
SimonClarke
I really like it. Double wing means a wider CG envelope. Thrust vectoring covers all aspects of manoeuvrability. As both an Aircraft maintenance engineer and an Aerospace Design consultant of over 30 years, I am excited by this design. Keep it all electric and get it launched.
VincentWolf
Who needs electric cars. Sign me up.
Redmercury
Hahah! The DMC-12 a supercar? That thing was so gutless the original model did 0-60 in near 10 seconds.
DavidRogerBrown
Unlike the other comments,not being a engineer have no clue how well it works but it's quite beautiful.
Lardo
If you believe the DMC-12 was a "Supercar", then you're likely to believe the DR-7 project will, one day, actually get off the ground. (pun intended) I think Paul DeLorean learned more than just design from his famous uncle.
macgilver
I have been wrong before, but I believe there will never be a flying-car. The problem is reality vs theory. 1st problem, wind….100 feet or so above obstacles, the wind is fairly constant. When descending below that, artificial wind gusts are produced from buildings, trees, ect. Which will make landing very tricky, and with little room to spare, collisions seem inevitable. 2. Weather, nice morning to go to work, the weather can change later in the day. So….stay at work, call for a ride or chance it. 3. Fuel, tell me again how to refuel. Just “drop” in at a local gas station? Carry home jerry cans of fuel? Land on a road, (never mind the cars already on the road). People cut in front of us all the time, imagine one dropping in. 4. Have a “quick one” on the way home. Picture a cop writing an aerial DUI. 5. Rules of the road…the rules would have to be rewritten dramatically (and followed). 6. Other flying cars. It would be conceivable to land on-top or collide with another FC (flying car) due to limited visibility. (I know, technology is our savior and avoidance software will save us). 7. Crash protection.. it would be very limited due to the light weight needed for flight. The FC’s cannot be built with the protection that motor vehicles have. 8. Insurance premiums would be out-of-sight. 9. Damage… FC’s would be subject to airworthiness issues from scratched plastic windshields, missing or dented body panels, hard landings etc. 10. Non emergency situations would become major problems if a fan belt broke, or battery/alternator died, low oil, low fuel, broken connection…that list goes on and on 11. Your teenage son decides to take it for a joy ride in the middle of the night. 12. Taking off will cause extreme wind…..goodbye front house windows. 13. What a way for a criminal to escape. 14. Last…..imagine the news story, Flying Car Crashes Into Elementary School Yard,….. digital video at 11.