Porsche’s Aviation history is little known nowadays among Porsche enthusiasts. Next to building fantastic cars, Porsche designed and produced a whole lot of other products too. Butzi Porsche, the creator of the Porsche 911, even created his own design company. All kinds of products found their origins on the drawing board of the Porsche Design Company. In the 60s, Porsche built agricultural vehicles. But lesser-known today, Porsche has also left its mark in the field of aviation. And Porsche Aviation is exactly the subject of Jurgen Gassebner’s recently published book.
Early in his career, Ferdinand Porsche had a job as a technical director at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, an Austrian engineering company. The company tasked him with the design of a four-cylinder engine for a gas-balloon airship. And as soon as Ferdinand Porsche created his own company, he developed new aircraft engines in addition to other commissions. Later, after Ferdinand Porsche’s passing, the aeronautical heritage didn’t get lost. March 1st, 1957, Porsche presented the Typ 678 engine, the first German after-war aircraft engine, used among others in the RW-3 aircrafts.
Since that time, four and six-cylinder Porsche engines produced through the 1980s have powered a variety of aircraft into the sky, including some of Porsche’s own design. Many pilots have found the air-cooled engine to perform extremely well and suited for sky-bound duty.
The author, Jürgen Gassebner, has always been a Porsche enthusiast. And after he earned his pilot license in 1995, he started working on the “Porsche Aviation” book, even without himself realizing it. Soon after Gassebner acquired his personal aircraft, he started collecting and researching the Porsche Aviation history. With the help of the Porsche archives, the author puts all pieces of the Porsche Aviation jigsaw puzzle on the right place. Great support came from late Porsche engineer Hans Mezger and designer Robert Powell. The latter was a key figure in the development of the company’s PFM 3200 six-cylinder aircraft engine that is still the powerplant of approximately 22 aircraft worldwide today.
As far as we know, “Porsche Aviation” is the first book dedicated to the aeronautical history of Porsche. So this is a unique opportunity to complete your knowledge about Porsche. A true Porsche aficionado should have “Porsche Aviation” in his library, as it uncovers and documents a previously unknown part of Porsche history. The bilingual (German / English) text is well-written. Dozens of pictures and illustrations clarify the text. There is no way around. Go get it !!
Pictures courtesy Porsche AG and the publisher
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