Bell Unveils Full-Scale Design of Air Taxi at CES 2019
(Source: Bell Helicopter; issued Jan 07, 2019)
The Bell Nexus air taxi, unveiled at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas, is powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system provided by Safran and features powered lift provided by six tilting ducted fans. (Bell image)
LAS VEGAS, NV. --- Bell Helicopter revealed the configuration and full-scale vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) air taxi vehicle today during CES 2019. The air taxi, named Bell Nexus, is powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system and features Bell’s signature powered lift concept incorporating six tilting ducted fans that are designed to safely and efficiently redefine air travel.

Bell Nexus

“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,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO, Bell.

Bell Nexus means the nexus of transport and technology and of comfort and convenience. Nexus captures the long-sought-after vision of quick air travel with a unique in-flight experience, keeping passengers connected to their lives and saving valuable time.

Team Nexus, consisting of Bell, Safran, EPS, Thales, Moog and Garmin, are collaborating on Bell’s VTOL aircraft and on-demand mobility solutions. Bell will lead the design, development and production of the VTOL systems. Safran will provide the hybrid propulsion and drive systems, EPS will provide the energy storage systems, Thales will provide the Flight Control Computer (FCC) hardware and software, Moog will develop the flight control actuation systems and Garmin will integrate the avionics and the vehicle management computer (VMC).

Autonomous Pod Transport (APT)

Alongside the debut of Bell Nexus, Bell will feature the Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) – an exciting new venture for Bell. The APT family varies in payload capability that can serve many mission sets from medical, law enforcement, offshore missions and on-demand delivery services. Bell is expanding into a new industry to show the full spectrum of our capabilities and the real-world challenges APT will address.

Future Flight Controls

Bell’s Future Flight Controls simulator will be a new experience for CES participants this year. Bell is actively collecting data to help shape the future flight controls of aviation. Data from these simulators will be used to determine what actions and interfaces are intuitive to the average potential operator and what prior experiences and abilities contribute to these opinions.

Urban air travel is coming closer to the masses through recent advancements in technology and software. The critical last step is designing a flight control ecosystem that allows individuals to safely and efficiently operate urban air vehicles.

Last year, Bell provided the world a glimpse into the air taxi passenger experience and now, attendees will see the full vision. From Jan. 8 to 11, CES attendees can stop by the Bell booth (LVCC, North Hall – Booth 5431) to experience a new world of transportation.

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Safran Is Proud to Power the Bell Nexus
(Source: Safran Helicopter Engines; issued Jan 07, 2019)
LAS VEGAS, NV. --- The first application of the Safran Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System (HEPS), the Bell Nexus, is officially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The propulsion solution of this multi-rotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft is capable of producing more than 600 kWe power.

During ground tests last June, the system produced 100 kWe and further tests will be carried out next year.

“This partnership with Bell in the on-demand mobility sector is a strategic opportunity for Safran” said Jean-Baptiste Jarin, Safran Helicopter Engines Vice President, Hybrid Propulsion System Program. “Nexus is the first of a new breed of aircraft, it opens the doors to new markets and new missions. Fully commited to these challenges and sharing a common vision with Bell, we now look forward to seeing it fly”.


“Bell is excited to unveil the Bell Nexus at CES and to share this exciting time with our partners”, says Bell’s Scott Drennan, Vice President of Innovation. “The Bell Nexus delivers a nexus of transport and technology, comfort and convenience. We look forward to continuing the development of technology with Safran to bring this nexus to life.”

HEPS works by distributing thermal and/or electrical energy, depending on the phase of flight, to multiple rotors. It comprises three sub-systems: electric generation that relies on a turbo-generator and batteries, electric power management and the electric motors that generate lift and propulsion.

Hybrid-electric propulsion solutions being explored by Safran teams are the most efficient way to enable multi-rotor VTOL aircraft to meet future safety, emission and affordability standards.

By 2025, Safran is committed to becoming the market leader in HEPS technology.

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