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Porsche and Boeing have partnered to explore the development of a flying car. The Porsche-Boeing partnership will explore the development of a premium flying car targeted at wealthy luxury car buyers. The vehicle in question will be powered by electricity and will be able to take-off and land vertically.
Porsche and Boeing are two legendary brands in their respective fields. Boeing is the largest manufacturer of aircraft in the world. The company is involved in civil aviation, defence aviation, military systems, etc. Porsche on the other hand has been pushing the envelope as a sportscar manufacturer. Porsche's cars are easily among the best sports cars in the world.
Boeing has been heavily involved in developing aircraft for the future. It's subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences has been looking into the future of aviation and the development of electric flying cars. Porsche too has been working on being environment-friendly with the launch of cars like the Porsche Taycan.
Now, both Porsche and Boeing want to expand to the premium urban air mobility market. Both brands have the credentials needed to take them there.
Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG said, "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."
Boeing has the capability of building a flying craft while Porsche has experience in placing products on the premium end of the market. The Porsche-Boeing flying car therefore will bring out the best from both the companies.
Boeing's subsidiary Aurora Flying Sciences will be involved closely in this project. Aurora Flying Sciences has been researching the field of personal aviation for years now. Now, the company is closer to its vision that ever before. Earlier this year, Aurora tested its prototype flying car.
The Aurora Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV) took off vertically, hovered in the air for a while and landed at the same spot. It is certain that the Porsche-Boeing alliance will use some of the learnings from the PAV flight.
However, the PAV followed a rather simple construction and design and did not use any wheels. It had four landing pods mounted onto a frame which in turn held the airframe in place. Four fans - one on each corner - handled the vertical movement while a bigger fan at the rear handled forward or backward movement.
Renderings of the Porsche-Boeing flying car though tell a completely different story. It is quite obvious that the companies are taking the sportcar approach to it and this is not a mass market flying car.
It is in essence, the supercar of the flying car/urban air mobility world. It is sleek, slender and even has twin jet-exhausts at the rear. However, if the project goes through, the final product will be nowhere close to this as it will be powered by electricity, hence, propeller fans are the way to go.
Porsche conducted a study in 2018 and according to the study, the urban air mobility market will pick up speed after 2025. There are several brands that have been developing flying cars. In-fact, Boeing's rival Airbus is also developing a flying car in partnership with Audi which is part of the Volkswagen group, just like Porsche.
However, Porsche and Boeing have since the start made it very clear that they would be targeting the premium end of the spectrum. The flying cars currently under development are expected to cost between $200,000 (Rs 1.42 Crore) and $600,000 (Rs 4.26 Crore)
After adding other costs incurred in the creation of infrastructure like landing pads, charging stations, etc, the cost is expected to go up considerably. Going by Boeing and Porsche's announcement, we can expect this one to be priced way above the regular flying cars. Buyers can expect it to perform better, have more range and a well-equipped cabin.
Thoughts On Porsche & Boeing Developing A Premium Electric Flying Car
Volkswagen is still looking for ways to repair the damage that the dieselgate scandal had caused. Hence it is pushing to develop cleaner, greener and futuristic vehicles through its brands including Porsche. Boeing is still reeling under the loss it has faced since the 737 MAX was grounded in most countries around the world and is looking forward to recover from it.
The project to develop a premium flying electric car is one that can help both brands no end. However, it is a risky and dangerous market they are entering. Will it bring fruit? We can only hope it does.