This machine presented as a supersonic, flying saucer by Romanian engineers looks like an incredible project. It apparently will perform in the same capacity regardless of whether it does horizontal or vertical flights. However it’s attractive appearance isn’t everything, it also has a real use!
On the 23 March 2019, two Romanian aeronautical engineers published a video (which can be viewed at the bottom of this article) showing their design concept. The All-DIrectional Flying Object (ADIFO) is a Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft or VTOL. However this device is meant to be able to fly in all directions. It is also able to fly with the same aerodynamic characteristic in each direction and even at a high speed.
This device looks at lot like a flying saucer as it’s form has aerodynamic benefits and when flying horizontally. the ADIFO takes off vertically and can the move around on a slow speed in a horizontal flight. The device works a bit like a drone thanks to its four carinated electric rotors. The demonstration video show a rudimentary remote controlled prototype that measures about 1.2 metres in diameter. However the engineers don’t want to stop there.
Highly maneuverable and super sonic speeds
The aerodynamics of ADIFO has been optimised so it can be fitted with two turbo reactors. These turbo-reactors allow the engine to fly at super sonic speeds. However researchers have said that there won’t be a super sonic bang! The device is also meant to be highly maneuverable. The engineers are wanting to install lateral and vertical thrusters so that it can work in a similar way to the thrusters of spaceship control system. This means that the device could be able to fly upside down both in horizontal and vertical flights.
Despite the goals of the engineers we are very far from the objectives mentioned above. But the larger model that the project leaders want to manufacture in the future could incorporate these promising technologies. While the official project page mentions the device’s use as a conventional drone or private plane, it is also worryingly mentions that ADIFO could be used as a combat drone equipped with missiles. Obviously, the feasibility of the project is skeptical, but the idea is still interesting. The future will tell us if the engineers will achieve their goals.
Here is the demonstration video of the prototype is still in the developmental stage: