Boeing and Porsche are collaborating on a radical-looking, propeller-free concept for an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL).
Announcing potential long-term plans for the luxury German car company to move into “the third dimension of travel”, the new partners revealed the first image of the concept.
The picture shows an aircraft without propellers. The dark image obscures most details of the craft, although it appears to be a fixed-wing design. Two exhausts at the back suggest it could use thrust-vectoring jet engines for lift-off, flight and landing.
A Boeing spokeswoman told Professional Engineering she could not reveal any technical details of the eVTOL, and said aspects of the design – such as its propulsion – could change in future iterations of the concept.
The press release claims the partners will bring “precision engineering, style and innovation” and declares a focus on the ‘premium’ end of the urban air mobility market – although aircraft revealed by other companies appear unlikely to offer affordable travel either way.
The new concept is separate from a previously demonstrated propeller eVTOL from Boeing, although it also involves the aerospace giant’s Aurora Flight Sciences subsidiary. Porsche subsidiaries Porsche Engineering Services and Studio F.A. Porsche are also involved in the project, which aims to implement and test a prototype.
The memorandum of understanding between Porsche and Boeing also includes research into the future of premium urban mobility, including analysis of market potential and possible use cases.
Despite a glut of projects and involvement of big names such as Uber, Airbus, Bell and Aston Martin, many questions remain over the future of the flying taxi market. Key issues include range, safety, regulation, air traffic control for crowded skies and noise.
Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
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