For decades Porsche has been reaching new heights with its powerful sports cars – and not only in the metaphorical sense: Porsche designers have also left their mark in aviation.
On 16 January 1986, after more than six months, 300 take-offs and landings and 600 flying hours, Michael Schultz and Hans Kampik have almost made their way back to the small airfield in Donaueschingen. The list of what they have endured in their Mooney 231 is jaw-dropping: icy storms over Alaska, tropical weather in New Guinea, overzealous narcotics officers in Ecuador, extremely jittery military personnel in the air space above Angola. And now a blizzard is raging over the runway. Yet the small aircraft manages the last stage of its circumnavigation of the world – a triumph for man and machine. The 3.2-litre Porsche PFM 3200 aircraft engine has used 23,000 litres of premium fuel and 30 litres of oil, defied heat and cold and negotiated 100,000 kilometres in the air without complaint.