Bell Helicopter continues to shape the future of vertical lift


Bell Helicopter recently unveiled its vision for the future of rotorcraft — the FCX-001. This is Bell Helicopter’s first concept aircraft and presents a 3D road map for delivering safer, smarter and more efficient rotorcraft solutions. “For the past 80 years, Bell Helicopter has imagined the art of the possible and brought those dreams to life,” Bell Helicopter’s President and CEO Mitch Snyder said during the opening ceremony at the HAI Heli-Expo. “Six months ago we created a dedicated team to focus on emerging technologi­es and how we could incorporat­e them into our products. Among that team’s first tasks was to display visually the technologi­es and innovation­s that present a road map that we envision bringing to market.”

Bell Helicopter formed a core group of engineers and a team of graphic designers that proved to be a highly collaborat­ive team of problem solvers. It was through this process that the FCX-001, a concept aircraft, came to light to physically demonstrat­e a new way of thinking.

The concept aircraft was built to address the evolving demands of our customers and demonstrat­e key technologi­es that revolution­ise the pilot and passenger experience, including: A new anti-torque system in the tail boom designed to change the safety, noise and performanc­e parameters of vertical lift aircraft forever; Hybridised propulsion combines advanced thermal engine cores for the main propulsion; An airframe that is made from advanced sustainabl­e materials to provide structural performanc­e and offer configurat­ions that our customers desire; A landing gear with nontraditi­onal geometries that facilitate function when combined with advanced materials and actuation; Morphing rotor blades that allow aircraft to optimise performanc­e in different flight regimes; A single pilot seat and an entirely new flight deck experience with the pilot controllin­g the aircraft through augmented reality and an artificial intelligen­ce computer assistance system and a highly modular passenger cabin enhanced with the same augmented reality technology for individual­ised infotainme­nt.

“Being a pioneer in the aircraft industry is in our DNA and we want to share this renewed passion with the world. The FCX-001 points the way for our future — a renewed focus on innovative solutions and technologi­es. When the time is right we look forward to sharing more of what we’re doing behind closed doors,” added Snyder.

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