A group of engineers and graphic designers at Bell Helicopter have collaborated to create a concept aircraft, the FCX-001, showcasing the company’s vision for the future of rotorcraft.
“For the past 80 years, Bell Helicopter has imagined the art of the possible and brought those dreams to life,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO at Bell Helicopter. “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 roadmap that we envision bringing to market.”
The concept envisages the pilot controlling the aircraft using augmented reality and an AI computer assistance system. The same augmented reality technology is used in the modular passenger cabin for “individualized infotainment”. As well as enjoying movies and music, passengers would be able to access news, hold a video conference call, and share documents within the cabin.
Other technologies incorporated into the design include an anti-torque system in the tail boom designed to “change the safety, noise and performance parameters of vertical lift aircraft forever”; hybrid propulsion; landing gear with non-traditional geometries; and morphing rotor blades for optimum performance in different flight regimes. The airframe itself would be made from advanced sustainable materials.
March 13, 2017