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AEROSPACETESTINGINTERNATIONAL.COM // DECEMBER 2019 13
vertically will experience scenarios that cause issues.”
The Nexus has six tilting ducted fans, each powered
by a different electric motor to provide redundancy. It
also has a series-hybrid power system. Isbell said, “We
are one of the few eVTOLs that has ducts as opposed to
open rotor. We believe that for public acceptance, safety,
noise and performance that it is the right path.
“The electric motors simplify a lot of things ¬ it builds
redundancy in. The hybrid approach gives us legs in
vertical mode. You use a lot of power in vertical – when
you are testing and doing certification you have to hover
for long periods of time. You need a solution to that or
you have to land every 10 minutes,” said Isbell.
“A lot of people are doing demonstration testing at the
moment. But to do cert testing in a reasonable time
frame, you have to solve these kinds of problems.”
Isbell confirmed that the Nexus development
program is targeting 2023 for first flight, “It’s still in play,”
he said. “It’s a fabulous time, the innovative spirit in this
space is great. The Vertical Flight Society has
categorized 200 different eVTOL concepts that people
are trying to build.
“It’s a race, it’s just very uncertain where and when
the finish line is. Everyone is guessing where the end
point is at the moment and running in that direction.
“Some people may get there early and some may get
there late, from a business standpoint timing things
right is the biggest challenge. \\
// Bell’s Nexus will seat
five passengers and have
a cruise speed of 178mph