Porsche, Boeing Team up to Research and Develop Premium Urban Air Travel

The two mobility companies will dive into all-electric VTOL vehicles as part of the venture.

byChris Chin|
Porsche, Boeing Team up to Research and Develop Premium Urban Air Travel

Porsche and Boeing have officially announced a new partnership where the two companies will collaborate to begin researching and developing flying cars in a “Memorandum of Understanding.” Both parties will now begin exploring the possibility of offering premium, fast air travel to expectedly affluent customers.

Few explicit details were shared in terms of what Porsche and Boeing will be working to create. However, it was noted that the agreement also involves Porsche and Boeing’s subsidiary, Aurora Flight Sciences, who will reportedly work on all-electric VTOL, or “vertical takeoff and landing” vehicles. 

According to data gathered by Porsche’s in-house consulting team, the companies predict that urban air mobility should kick off after 2025 as people seek improved transportation solutions while cities become more and more crowded.

“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,” said Detlev von Platen, member of the executive board for sales and marketing at Porsche AG. “We are combining the strengths of two leading global companies to address a potential key market segment of the future.”

Although it sounds like an exciting venture, we’re a bit skeptical to see how the program matures since the development of Boeing’s first VTOL, the V-22 Osprey, doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record. Factor in the problems faced by current electric power propulsion systems in large applications and you'll find there's still plenty of work to be done.

Additionally, pilots of the V-22 Osprey still cite their handling difficulty, particularly when it comes to safe landings. We hope by then that Boeing and its partners can sort out these challenges.

The announcement interestingly comes just a short while after several companies announced their “air taxi” programs, like UberCopter. Obviously, we’re a long way from flying cars actually taking off and becoming the norm. But so far, such firms are utilizing what’s currently available to offer willing and paying customers the option for quick and easy air travel. In UberCopter’s case, it’s relying on a fleet of sleek Bell 420 helicopters for its service in between Manhattan and John F. Kennedy Airport.