Boeing and Porsche to partner on premium eVTOL

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Porsche and Boeing are to research the potential for creating a premium urban air mobility market and develop a prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

The partnership will create an international team which will address various aspects of urban air mobility, including  possible use cases and how to extend urban traffic into airspace.

Detlev von Platen, member of the executive board for sales and marketing at Porsche said, “We are looking to enhance our scope 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, Porsche and the Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences are also to develop a concept for a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle as part of the agreement. Engineers from both companies, as well as Porsche subsidiaries Porsche Engineering Services and Studio F.A. Porsche, will implement and test a prototype.

Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s research arm, Boeing NeXt, said, “This collaboration builds on our efforts to develop a safe and efficient new mobility ecosystem, and provides an opportunity to investigate the development of a premium urban air mobility vehicle with a leading automotive brand.

“Porsche and Boeing together bring precision engineering, style and innovation to accelerate urban air mobility worldwide.”

A 2018 study by Porsche Consulting forecasts that the urban air mobility market will grow faster 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.

Meanwhile Airbus and US-based startup LM (Local Motor) Industries have launched a joint venture called Neorizon, which will open and operate a factory at Airbus’ Ludwig-Bölkow-Campus near Munich, Germany.

The factory, which LM Industries describes as a “micro factory” and will create up to 200 jobs will develop and produce new drones and eVTOLs at “unprecedented speeds” using digital prototyping and manufacturing, metal 3D printing and Industry 4.0 manufacturing.

Peter Weckesser, digital transformation officer at Airbus Defence and Space said, “We’ve been working with LM Industries’ team at Local Motors since early 2016 when we realized the value proposition surrounding direct digital manufacturing and open-source design.

“Both parties recognized the commercial opportunities for pooling resources and expertise, specifically combining LM Industries’ digital manufacturing with Airbus’ materials expertise, metal 3D printing and additive manufacturing, and prototyping and serial production capabilities.”

Benjamin Queisser, who most recently was a business unit director at industrial engineering firm Eriks UK and Ireland, has been appointed CEO of Neorizon.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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