The Bell FCX-001 Concept Helicopter

Advanced Anti-Torque Concept

Bell is developing new anti-torque systems that will change the safety, noise and performance parameters of vertical lift aircraft forever. In this example our anti-torque system is embedded in the tail boom for enhanced safety, providing thrust vectoring capability for control.

Hybridized Propulsion

Combines advanced thermal engine cores for the main propulsion with, for example, electric distribution and motors to drive the anti-torque system for more control and simpler vehicle operations and maintenance.

Advanced Airframe Design

Using advanced sustainable materials to provide structural performance and offer configurations that our customers desire. In order to provide enhanced visibility and room, we are exploring the right combination of materials and optimized geometry. The airframe is our front line for energy management where we harvest, store, attenuate and distribute external energy or system energy not already employed for useful work on the air vehicle.

Morphing Rotor Blades

Morphing structural geometries will allow aircraft to optimize performance in different flight regimes. Bell is a pioneer in this area having developed the tiltrotor concept of one geometry for helicopter mode flight and a completely different geometry for airplane mode flight. Now we explore individual morphing geometries such as blades, inlets, aerodynamic surfaces, whether through advanced actuation or materials, or both, to push beyond the enhancements that we originally created.

Virtual Cockpit

One pilot seat. Removing the traditional Multi Function Display (MFD) flight deck for enhanced visibility from the pilot seat creating an entirely new experience. We see pilots of the future controlling the aircraft with the aid of augmented reality and an artificial intelligence computer assistance system. This takes us from computer augmented piloting, much like we have today with Fly-By-Wire systems, to optionally piloted vehicles where the pilot assumes the role of safety and mission officer aboard the aircraft while the computer flies with him. This is the stepping stone to the fully autonomous unpiloted VTOL air vehicles.

Enhanced Cabin Design

A concept modular flooring systems allows for rapid seating configuration changes so that the cabin can be customized for many types of passenger, cargo or mission based requirements. LED lighting in the overhead canopy can be fully customized in color and brightness depending on passenger preference. 360-degree pop-down air ventilation systems to allow for increased comfort on demand.

Advanced Landing Gear

There is an important design aesthetic to this gear but we are exploring how non-traditional geometries, including wheels, tires and support structures can facilitate function when combined with advanced materials. As an example, actuation can improve maneuverability and absorb landing energy for improved safety and comfort in ground operations.

Flight Control Technology

At the heart of the fly-by-wire system are three separate and independent flight control computers. Upon receiving digital commands from the pilots, the system evaluates and calculates the optimal method to achieve the order; assuring the aircraft is not compromised and is supported by extra system redundancy