Makers of the car famously depicted as the time-machine in the movie Back to the Future are promising to release a flying car to the public soon!
For almost as long as humankind has dreamed of flying, they have also dreamed of a future with transport that simultaneously functions across the land, in the sky, and over the sea. Many hopeful manufacturers have already attempted to create multi-faceted vehicles, but DeLorean Aerospace are allegedly promising that they will soon have you both flying and driving in the same vehicle.
Most people recognize the name DeLorean from the film Back to the Future. Unmistakably, director Robert Zemeckis depicted a DeLorean as Doc Brown’s notorious time-machine, that landed young Marty McFly in a lot of trouble as he sought to save his family. In the non-Hollywood world, however, the DeLorean car was once merely a favorite car purely based on its stylish build. In fact, Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale once remarked how the time-machine could have easily been a Ford Mustang.
Nevertheless, a DeLorean was chosen
Consequently, the car entered into cult status with hardcore movie buffs. In fact, the company even tailor-make versions of the car to look like the Back to the Future time machine. And up till now, such futuristic technological appearances of their car have been just that – an appearance. However, all this is about to change.
Paul DeLorean is the nephew of DeLorean Motors Corporation’s founder, John DeLorean. Following in his uncle’s footsteps, he believes he has a vision for the future of transportation: in the sky. And he thinks his vision will enable the public to fly into the future sooner than they imagine.
His vision is called the DeLorean DR-7
Indeed, DeLorean is not the only innovator working on a vehicle that could feasibly enable the general public to choose sky highways to break up the suffocating congestion experienced on land highways. Even before Henry Ford notoriously promised “Mark my word: a combination of airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come,” inventors had been tinkering with the concept decades earlier.
Additionally, Glenn Curtiss may not have even been the first person to invent the “flying car” allegedly in 1910. However, he appears to have been the first inventor to brag about it in print. Within a copy of Aerial Age Weekly, Curtiss claims he had “invented and built the first flying aerial limousine – the Curtiss Autoplane.”
Also, is DeLorean envisaging an actual car/plane hybrid?
Technically, not really. What DeLorean’s “flying car” truly is, is a “vertical take-off and landing” vehicle, or VTOL for short. In other words, DeLorean is believing, along with what a lot of different commercial VTOL creators are thinking, is that the future of transportation is in the sky.
Other manufacturers have indeed tackled creating car/plane hybrids. Engineer Paul Moller, now 81 years of age, has been working on the making the flying plane a reality for decades. During a Ted Talk in 2004, Moller described a VTOL vehicle that could also drive on roads. He claimed that since NASA has the technology to put a man on the moon, the technology exists to create flying cars.
Nevertheless, none of Moller’s projects have ever been commercialized
He claims that there was “too much red tape” with bureaucracy. Also, there were many other issues holding him back, to consider. Currently, for any member of the public to fly a vehicle in the sky, they require a pilot’s license. In other words, the process is far too complicated, expensive and unfeasible for general members of the public.
Other innovators who seek to bring flying cars to the masses are the creators of the PAL-V who claim that their flying car is now commercially available. Indeed, their creation is a car/plane hybrid. Their sleek flying car can drive to and from an airstrip, and then compact down to fit into a private garage in someone’s home. Nevertheless, the vehicle is expensive, at around $450,000 to own. On top of that cost, the new owner must have a pilot license. Principally, they are purchasing a small airplane that converts into a car.
So, is DeLorean really doing anything new and innovative?
Moller had been correct when he claimed that there was too much bureaucracy holding back flying cars from becoming a reality. However, many members of the public feel that this is for a good reason. Agreeing with the general public is also someone who is collectively considered a sound voice on such topics: Elon Musk.
Which means on first impressions, DeLorean is not doing anything innovative, but merely appears to be jumping on the bandwagon. Possibly, he is just riding upon his uncle’s success with the DeLorean trademark. Nevertheless, DeLorean claims differently. The specs that he gives for the DR-7 appear to cover many of the problems that experts claim make the feasibility of vehicles taking to sky highways just a pipedream.
Musk, probably one of the most trustworthy experts, refuses to enter into the flying car market for several reasons, which makes him see DeLorean, like many others of his ilk, as delusional
Business Insider quoted Musk “Obviously I like flying things, but it’s difficult to imagine the flying car becoming the scalable solution.” Musk reasons that flying cars are an exceedingly dangerous venture if owners of these vehicles neglect maintenance. Additionally, he fears for the public on the ground, should debris – or an entire defective flying car – fall unsuspectingly, wreaking untold deadly havoc.
Still, DeLorean, and those intent on creating alternative transport options for the public in the sky are undeterred.
In fact, DeLorean claims he has taken into consideration all of the concerns that the fear mongers tout. According to him, the DR-7 would be automated and electric. In other words, computers would take control, and the vehicle owner would merely be a passenger. This idea, he claims, would prevent noise pollution and air congestion
Uber, in fact, claims that the company will have a fleet of such “air taxis” by 2020. The ride-sharing app turned worldwide ride-sharing phenomenon has already incorporated automated electric cars as part of their taxi fleet. According to an Uber spokesperson, Brad Stone, the company is teaming up with NASA develop automated flying cars in an initiative that they have called Uber Elevate.
Meanwhile, DeLorean is still determined to enter the market, offering the consumer their own personal VTOL. For between $200,000 and $300,000, you may become the proud owner of a DR-7 within the next 15 years!