Bell Helicopter made its way over to Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES), revealing the configuration and full-scale vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) air taxi vehicle dubbed Bell Nexus. The air taxi incorporates six safety-conscious tilting duct fans and a hybrid-electric propulsion system.
“As space at the ground level becomes limited, we must solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension—and that’s where Bell’s on-demand mobility vision takes hold. The industry has anticipated the reveal of our air taxi for some time, so Bell is very proud of this moment. We believe the design, taken with our strategic approach to build this infrastructure, will lead to the successful deployment of the Bell Nexus to the world,” says Bell President and CEO Mitch Snyder.
Bell will head the design, development, and production of the VTOL systems, but will collaborate with EPS, Safran, Thales, Moog, and Garmin to bring Bell Nexus to fruition. Energy storage systems are delegated to EPS, Safran will handed the hybrid propulsion and drive systems, hardware and software for the Flight Control Computer (FCC) is all up to Thales, Moog will provide the flight control actuation systems, and, finally, Garmin will integrate the vehicle management computer (VMC) and avionics.
According to The Verge, Bell’s Director of Innovation Scott Drennan predicts it’ll hit major markets by the mid-2020s.
You can see an overview of the hybrid-electric propulsion system in the image below.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense