Sports car manufacturer will soon show a design sketch of proposed passenger drone
Porsche, the Stuttgart-based purveyor of sports cars and SUVs, is working on a drone concept that could be used as a flying taxi. Speaking with Automobilwoche (via Reuters), Porsche sales boss Detlev von Platen stated, "That would really make sense. If I drive from (the Porsche plant in) Zuffenhausen to Stuttgart airport, I need at least half an hour, if I'm lucky. Flying would take only three and a half minutes." Porsche isn't the only auto manufacturer-nor brand at VW-considering a flying car.
During last year's Geneva Auto Show, Volkswagen's Italdesign partnered with airplane manufacturer Airbus to show the Pop.Up flying car. That concept included a car-or automotive pod-that could be picked up by an autonomous air drone and taken to its destination, similar to how militaries around the world use the Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter to transport large cargo. At this year's Geneva Show, Oregon-based Samson Motors will reveal its 200-mph Switchblade. The two-seater, three-wheeled concept will use a 190 horsepower, 1.6 liter V4 engine that drives a rear propeller, good for 450 miles of range at 13,000 feet. The Porsche concept will likely include everything that's needed to fly as part of the car, but look better than the Switchblade.
Unlike the proposed flying taxi service from ride-sharing company Uber, Reuters reports drivers of the proposed Porsche flying car would have some control over the vehicle in the air, but many of its functions would be automated so as to remove the need to hold a pilot's license to operate it. The idea of a flying car is far from new. For decades, engineering madman Paul Moller has attempted to build a commercial flying car. One of his company's Skycar models recently went on sale on eBay for $5 million.