Heli-Expo in Dallas saw the unveiling of new a Bell Helicopter, the FC-X. Mitch Snyder, CEO, describes that by fusing several advanced rotorcraft technologies the company is “pushing the industry and pushing Bell”
Removing the need for a traditional tail rotor and horizontal stabilizers, design engineers have created a new cross-flow fan anti-torque system. A significant evolution in NOTAR technology using electrical actuation to create a hybrid solution. Safety is improved on the ground and significant weight reduction is achieved.
Augmented reality and more fly-by-wire autonomy than ever before transforms the cockpit layout and the pilot’s role. No standard flight controls or multifunction displays are installed. An augmented control system customisable to each different pilot’s needs will be assisted by artificial intelligence instead. If that all sounds like something from a film, Bell’s director of innovation Scott Drennen explains “We placed the pilot to do mission control; the computers can do the dumb, dirty, dangerous and dull work,”
The aircraft can accommodate 12 passengers in a modular cabin, all able to modify their own surroundings with mood lighting and IFE.