Flying cars have long been a staple of science fiction, popping up everywhere from Blade Runner to Futurama to The Jetsons and beyond. Still, while we’ve gone to the moon and crammed supercomputers with high-def TVs and cameras into our pockets in recent decades, flying cars have remained just that: fiction. Many have promised such compact, easy-to-use personal aircraft, but so far, none of them have managed to fulfill the dream of a flying machine we can park in our driveway (though as of 2020, many companies are hard at work trying to find a way to create such machines for use as flying taxis).
But those dreams might finally be about to come true. Porsche — yes, that Porsche, the one you know and love — has just announced that it’s working on a flying car in conjunction with none other than Boeing.
The two companies responsible for a huge percentage of the world’s dreamiest speed machines made the announcement last fall, declaring they’ve established a “memorandum of understanding to explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace.” Which is a whole jumble of legalistic double-speak that effectively translates to, “we’re gonna start working on a flying car project.” The two companies are creating a team to examine the various challenges of the project, such as whether there’s an actual market for it (hint: there is).
But there’s more to this project than just a team of big brains ideating about what the average buyer of a flying Porsche might look like. Porsche, Boeing and their subsidiaries are actually developing a prototype concept version of an all-electric flying machine capable of vertical take-off and landing — or, in the parlance of aviation, an “e-VTOL.”
“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,” Porsche executive board member Detlev von Platen said in a statement.
Perhaps most interesting of all, however, is the image accompanying the release: The shadowy conceptual flying machine seen above, with a swept-back cockpit, stubby, muscular wings with dolphin fin-like rudders on both wingtips, and a bulging tail containing what looks like a pair of jet exhausts. It’s not clear whether this is what the prototype will actually look like, should it ever see the light of day — but considering most e-VTOL concepts so far have resembled overgrown quadcopters cross-bred with the helicopters from M*A*S*H, one that looks like a Porsche-designed starfighter would be pretty damn awesome.
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