APT Arrives: Bell Delivers a New Drone

Bell Helicopter is busting into the drone business with our Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) family of vehicles. With all the new advancements emerging throughout the vertical lift space, we are bringing a device that could propel large logistics businesses to maximum efficiency, or even just deliver food to your doorstep. The APT capability enables not just same day delivery but potentially within the same hour of order placement. APT is a “modular, scalable vehicle that can be adapted to meet a customer’s needs,” said Scott Drennan, Bell Helicopter’s Director of Innovation. 

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APT utilizes a tail-sitting VTOL configuration and an innovative payload POD that is capable of rotation and translation in flight to maximize its performance attributes. For all those worried about noise pollution, the low tip speed rotor system allows APT to make a very quiet trip but still maintain cruise speeds in excess of 100mph. Depending on the model, it can be small enough to handle loads up to 15 pounds, or large enough to transport 1,000 pounds. The drone can already fly at faster rate and provide service at longer distances than its competitors and is versatile enough to transport items for either commercial or military purposes. We may even be looking at the next vertical lift product that will transport soldiers into the battlefield or rescue them if injured, as well as carry food and goods to front doorsteps during humanitarian relief. A system of multiple APT vehicles could transform the way we think about delivery, logistics, supply and resupply.

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APT serves as another example of Bell Helicopter’s continued innovative drive that has motivated our talented team since the days of breaking the sound barrier and flying rocket belts. Now we are incredibly excited to demonstrate APT and see what possibilities are in store. This is only a small glimpse into the exciting innovations from Bell Helicopter.

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.