On Oct. 10, 2019, Porsche and Boeing announced they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace. Porsche was founded on Apr. 25, 1931 in Stuttgart, Germany. The Porsche 2015 annual report showed €21.5 billion Euros in revenue with a total of 24,481 employees. For 2017 alone, their production output totaled 246,375 vehicles.
In Sept. 2015, Porsche unveiled the Mission E all-electric concept sports car at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in Germany. Of note, the Mission E electric concept car can go from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 3.5 seconds and inside, there is an intuitively operated by eye-tracking and gesture control system including using holograms. In Jun. 2018, the electric sports car got its official name, the Porsche Taycan. On Sept. 4, 2019 Porsche releases the production version with deliveries expected before the end of 2019. With that said, Porsche has the technical know-how to design and manufacture electric road vehicles. In March 2018, Porsche published a white paper on The Future of Vertical Mobility.
Porsche is looking to enhance its scope as a sports car manufacturer by becoming a leading brand for premium mobility. In the longer term, this could mean moving into the third dimension of travel. We are combining the strengths of two leading global companies to address a potential key market segment of the future. — Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG, Porsche press release, Oct. 10, 2019
Three companies, Porsche, Boeing and Aurora Flight sciences, will be working together to design and create the eVTOL premium personal air vehicle. While the initial design which Porsche and Boeing created and revealed to the public on October 10, 2019, one can expect this design to change over time based on refined requirements by lead management, engineers, mission requirements and technological constraints.
As of Oct. 11, 2019, there is an international core team of 20 people located in St. Louis (USA), Stuttgart (Germany), and Lucerne (Switzerland) designing the eVTOL aircraft. The team consists of business development personnel, engineers and designers. This is the first time Porsche has explored Urban Air Mobility and discussions began in the summer of 2019.
A 2018 study by Porsche Consulting forecasts that the urban air mobility market will pick up speed after 2025. The study also indicates that urban air mobility solutions will transport passengers more quickly and efficiently than current conventional means of terrestrial transport, at a lower cost and with greater flexibility. –Porsche press release, Oct. 10, 2019
Porsche has an ambitious plan to fly a working prototype in 2020. Very few details have been released about their eVTOL aircraft except that the personal air vehicle is currently planned to be 100% electric, will carry two (2) passengers, will be a premium priced personal aircraft, will be well styled and will be an autonomous aircraft but will able to be flown manually if any passenger has the proper training to fly an aircraft.
Porsche applied for a patent for an eVTOL aircraft on Jul. 3, 2019, and a patent for a power supply for an aircraft and corresponding aircraft on Jul. 2, 2019. Both patents were published online on Jan. 9, 2020. The aircraft patent reveals the eVTOL has four (4) ducted propellers. Two (2) sets of ducted propellers are on each side of the fuselage, in the front of the aircraft and two (2) sets of ducted propellers on each side of the fuselage, in the rear of the aircraft. While at rest, the propellers are hidden by louvers. When the aircraft is in forward flight, only the back set of ducted propellers are used for forward flight and the front set of ducted propellers turned off and louvers close over them, for better aerodynamics.
One additional design concept revealed from the power supply for an aircraft and corresponding aircraft patent is when the eVTOL takes off, it is tethered to a smaller auxiliary drone with a battery as the drone's cargo. The eVTOL and battery drone take off together autonomously while the battery drone feeds electric power to the eVTOL (and the battery drone itself) for vertical flight until the eVTOL passenger aircraft transitions to forward flight. After the eVTOL passenger aircraft transitions to forward flight, the auxiliary drone releases itself and apparently returns to the landing pad where it took off. However, the patent doesn't give any specific details where the battery drone will land and recharge itself. (This patent could be for the eVTOL passenger aircraft or for other aircraft they are designing.)
Currently the discussions by Porsche and Boeing (as of Oct. 2019) is the aircraft's main function will be for personal urban air travel. There has been no talk about this eVTOL aircraft being used as a ridesharing air taxi. Also, no other versions or models are being discussed at this time.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL.
- Piloting: Autonomous with a manual option, that is, if the passenger has proper credentials to fly an aircraft.
- Passengers: 2.
- Power: 100% electric
- Function: Premium personal urban air vehicle.
- Windows: Wrap around window with forward, left and right visibility, with a solid roof above the passengers.
- Landing gear: Tricycle wheeled landing gear.
- Airframe: Possibly composite.
- Porsche website
- Porsche Facebook
- Porsche Twitter
- Porsche YouTube
- Boeing website
- Aurora Flight Sciences website
- White Paper: The Future of Vertical Mobility, Porsche, Mar. 2018
- Press Release: Porsche and Boeing to Partner on Premium Urban Air Mobility Market, Boeing, Oct. 10, 2019
- Press Release: Porsche and Boeing to Partner on Premium Urban Air Mobility Market, Porsche, Oct. 10, 2019
- Article: Porsche is building an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) with Boeing, Electrek, Oct. 10, 2019
- Article: Porsche and Boeing collaborate on 'premium', propeller-free eVTOL aircraft, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Oct. 10, 2019
- Article: A sports car in the sky? Boeing and Porsche target urban air mobility market, Geek Wire, Oct. 10, 2019
- Article: Boeing Partners with Porsche, evtol.news, Nov. 4, 2019
- Patent: Aircraft, Porsche, Filed: Jul. 3, 2019, Published: Jan. 9, 2020
- Patent: Power supply for an aircraft and corresponding aircraft, Porsche, Filed: Jul. 2, 2019, Published: Jan. 9, 2020
- Article: Porsche applies to patent an all-electric VTOL flying taxi, Autoblog, Jan. 13, 2020