Paul DeLorean, the nephew of John DeLorean, who was the founder of the famous automaker best remembered for its car starring in the Back to the Future franchise — is currently the CEO and chief designer of DeLorean Aerospace, who hopes to develop an actual flying car.
Experts working in the field suggest that flying cars aren’t as farfetched as it was many years ago, due to the rise of new lightweight materials, better batteries, and sophisticated computer controls.
Additionally, the prospect of ride-sharing thanks to Uber, creates a business side of sharing a flying car in order to travel between cities much faster, although, determining the safety, air traffic control and certification are complex issues to overcome.
With DeLorean’s concept dubbed “DR-7,” the aircraft flaunts two sets of wings, a pair up front and another at the back, plus some winglets underneath. Two large ducted fans, mounted along the center line, front and back, swivel from horizontal for takeoff, to vertical for forward flight.
Measuring in at 20 feet long and 18.5 feet wide, the wings boast a Transformers-style hinge and pivot to tuck in against the side, so it can squeeze into a large garage or storage space. In addition, the engine is all electric and the company plans to make the aircraft self-flying, so anyone can use it, with no special license required.
While the company aims to complete a full-sized flying prototype within a year, DeLorean says he’ll find an area of empty California desert and “fly the hell out of” a radio-controlled version before letting anybody onboard to make sure it’s entirely safe and ready to go.
“We are moving forward on a full-size, piloted prototype which will carry two passengers and is designed to operate, fully electric, for a range of 120 miles,” says DeLorean.
Although, a timetable on purchasing one is still undetermined, DeLorean sees the vehicle as more than just playful toy for rich people. “The design really solves a lot of major transportation problems and inefficiencies, such as deteriorating infrastructure, pollution, and road congestion,” he says.
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