Bell Helicopters has been around for more than 80 years and been behind some of the most revolutionary aircraft in the last century. While much of their modern aviation platforms are the best in their respective markets, their CEO has been pushing the company to come up with futuristic aircraft that may one day be the aircraft of the future.
The innovation team at Bell has created the FCX-001. They tried to create a helicopter that is new and different and sparks awe in its onlookers. While the helicopter may look good, it is packed with some pretty incredible technology as well.
Pilots are able to fly the craft through an augmented reality interface. Bell is working on refining a fully autonomous mode for the helicopter that far outreaches modern day autopilot capabilities.
Another notable engineering aspect of the design is the fact that the craft is a single-rotor helicopter but it ditches the tail rotor. Bell hasn’t reinvented the physics of helicopter flight in their design, so there is still a need for some type of thrust vector control in the tail boom. To accomplish this task, they have incorporated a hybrid anti-torque system in the tail boom to counteract the rotational tendencies in typical single-rotor craft. This cuts down on noise for the passengers and creates a safer aircraft overall.
You can see the entire reveal of the aircraft in the video below along with a talk from Bell Helicopters CEO.
While the specifications discussed on the aircraft are impressive on paper, only time will tell if this aircraft is all that it is chocked up to be.