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Porsche Boeing Unnamed (J2) (concept design)

 

Unnamed (J2) (concept design)
Porsche and Boeing
Stuttgart, Germany
www.porsche.com

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

Unnamed (J2) luxury passenger eVTOL concept design aircraft
The Unnamed (J2) is a luxury autonomous two passenger high-speed eVTOL concept design aircraft that is very modern in design. The aircraft would carry both the passengers and their luggage. Both graphic depictions of the black luxury eVTOL aircraft are seen only from the rear of the aircraft which might be a clue that the company is indicating they want to develop (or are developing) electric jet engines (or more specifically, high speed jet motors) that would be used to power the aircraft for high speed forward flight. (J2 is a designation we had to give the aircraft to distinguish it from another Porsche eVTOL concept design aircraft. J2 = 2 jet engines or they are possibly jet type motors.)

While very few specifications were revealed for the concept design aircraft, one of the Porsche brochures estimated the cruise speed of passenger eVTOL aircraft would be approximately 200 km/h (~124 mph). It is unknown how this aircraft achieves vertical flight. Therefore, one can surmise there could either be VTOL propellers possibly located in the wings with louvers that cover the propellers when the aircraft is in forward flight or the two electric jets could be used for both VTOL and forward flight.

The aircraft would be made from carbon fiber composite for providing a high strength to low weight ratio. The aircraft has one wrap around window providing forward, left and right visibility, with a solid roof above the passengers. The aircraft has one low main wing (actually, they are stub wings) with winglets. There are at least two electric ducted fan (EDFs) jet engines (motors) for forward flight. According to the artist's impression, the aircraft has fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.

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 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 ducted propellers. Two (2) sets of ducted propellers are on each side of the fuselage, in the front of the aircraft and two 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.

Future
According to some news reports, this unnamed eVTOL concept design aircraft was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company predicts the future of Vertical Mobility or advanced air mobility (AAM), will include person eVTOL aircraft, on-demand air taxis, eVTOL rentals, eVTOL buses and eVTOL rescue operations. The company predicts the target date of a high volume eVTOL aircraft flying worldwide will be by 2035.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Luxury passenger high-speed eVTOL concept design aircraft
  • Piloting: Autonomous (possibly with a manual piloting option)
  • Capacity: 2 passengers and their luggage
  • Cruise speed: ~200 km/h (~124 mph)
  • Propellers: Unknown. There are at least 2 electric ducted fans in the rear of the aircraft for forward flight. These could be used for both vertical and forward flight. However, Porsche did not reveal how the VTOL system works for the graphic depictions of this concept design eVTOL aircraft.
  • Electric motors: Unknown
  • Power source: Easily removed fast-charging high-performance battery packs
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Wings: 1 low main wing (stub wings) with winglets
  • Windows: Wrap around window with forward, left and right visibility, with a solid roof above the passengers
  • Landing gear: Fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear.

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