Bell’s Nexus electric Vertical Take Off and Landing
aircraft is making good progress through testing, a
senior engineer on the program has said, while
re-confirming its first flight for 2023.
The Nexus features a central wing, integrated landing
skids, a V-tail and a short horizontal stabilizer. The
prototype seats five including the pilot and has an
anticipated range of 150 miles with a cruise speed of
around 178 mph .
Bell has said it plans for the electric Vertical Take Off
and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft to be certified by the “mid
to late 2020s”. Development of the aircraft started four
The company is leveraging its experience in military
tilt rotors, such as the V-22 Osprey to develop the Nexus.
Glenn Isbell, vice president, rapid prototyping and
manufacturing innovation at Bell Flight said he believes
its expertise in fly-by-wire flight control systems and
transitioning from vertical to horizontal flight gives it an
advantage over other companies developing eVTOLs.
“We’ve been doing fly-by-wire on conversion for thirty
years, since the V22. We’ve learnt lots of lessons along
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the way. The V-280 Valor is flying and is a totally
fly-by-wire conversion. It’s the least risky part for us.
“Other people may struggle with it. The conversion
between rotors pointing down and rotors pointing rear is
not always easy. Especially when you start looking at all
the different operating environments.
“We are big believers in getting on wing as fast as you
can. You have to have significant control authority when
you are in vertical mode. Things can happen like wind
gusts in vertical mode which mean you need power. An
underpowered, under-rotored aircraft trying to land
// The Nexus uses technology
and knowledge from Bell military
programs such as the V-280