Full-Scale Flying DeLorean Gets Closer To Liftoff

These days, even hobbyist multi-rotor aircraft are capable of carrying considerable payloads. For example, the test rig that [Brian Brocken] recently put together should be able to loft more than 80 pounds (36 kilograms) without breaking a sweat. That would be a whole lot of camera gear or other equipment, but in this case, he’s planning on carrying something a bit more interesting: a full-scale foam DeLorean.

We first covered this project in December of last year, when [Brian] started using a massive robotic arm to carefully cut the body and individual parts of the car out of expanded polystyrene foam. He estimated at the time the body should weigh in at less than 30 lbs (14 kg), so he’d need to build a quadcopter with a maximum lift of roughly twice that much to keep the performance where he wanted it.

In the latest update to the Hackaday.io project page, [Brian] goes over the work that’s been done since we first got a glimpse of this incredible build. Improvements have been made to the motorized flaps and slats that cover up the front and rear motors when not in operation. The DeLorean’s iconic gull-wing doors have also been recreated, although in this case they’re motorized.

But the real news is the prototype airframe. Made of aluminum and 3D printed components, [Brian] is using it to get a feel for how much thrust can be expected from the motors, as well as provide some early numbers for the eventual PID tuning that’ll be needed to get the car flying smoothly. Unfortunately, there’s a bit too much flex in this version of the frame — [Brian] says that a later carbon fiber version will not only be more rigid, but also shave off a few more precious pounds.

We’re just as eager as the rest of you to see the first flight of this ambitious build, so stay tuned for the next update.

11 thoughts on “Full-Scale Flying DeLorean Gets Closer To Liftoff

  1. The guy has the hardware to cut car sized objects out of foam.
    Foam at that scale is essentially rigid.
    So .. he builds an aluminum frame?


    Just attach the working bits directly to the foam.

    Or, make a MUCH smaller subframe for the motor s and attach THAT to the foam.

    The unibody design is used in cars because it is good enough already. And it is cheap. And it is lower mass.

    Those giant motors could be scaled way down if they didn’t need to carry the extra mass of that frame.

        1. “In addition, FAA operates in every major and regional airport in the United States and has international locations in Belgium and Singapore.”

          …I’m sure Belgium’s CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) works quite closely with them and may have even used their policies and procedures as a template.

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