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Apr 29, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

With its flying saucer-like appearance, the ADIFO is said to be the drone of the future

Two Romanian engineers have just presented a new type of aircraft, which looks just like a flying saucer. It is capable of taking off vertically like a drone and flying horizontally. The aircraft, called ADIFO, is said to boast exceptional manoeuvrability, say its developers.

Photo and cover photo credits: Vimeo screenshot/Adifo

A cross between a drone and a flying saucer, the ADIFO (All-DIrectional Flying Object) is a surprising concept. It is described by its creators as, “the first flying VTOL [Ed.: Vertical Take-Off and Landing] aircraft in the world, able to fly in all directions, under the same aerodynamic characteristics,” reports Futura-Sciences. This extremely manoeuvrable flying machine, which is equipped with four electric rotors, can take off vertically and travel at low speeds like a drone, but can also reach supersonic speeds thanks to its two turbojets and aerodynamic design that resembles that of a flying saucer.

Inspired by a dolphin’s body

To design this strange aircraft, the two Romanian engineers drew inspiration from a dolphin’s body. The clean lines of its wings give it the ideal aerodynamics for flying horizontally. A system of flaps has been designed to close off its four rotors, thus optimising its performance by reducing wind resistance. 

The ADIFO’s characteristics allow it to fly in all directions despite not having wings or ailerons, or any kind of rudder system.

Supersonic speed

This astonishing machine is capable of reaching supersonic speed, say its creators, who claim to have already successfully tested a model of the aircraft.

A video posted online by the two engineers only shows flights performed by a remote-controlled prototype measuring 1.2 metres in diameter. This test model is not yet equipped with a tailpipe or turbojet system. If it works, the ADIFO could revolutionise supersonic flights, which would then be accessible to everyone.

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