Bell and Teammates Selected for NASA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Demo in 2020
Fort Worth, TX (September 6, 2018) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced a cooperative agreement with NASA for an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) flight demonstration in the National Airspace System (NAS) expected to be conducted in 2020.
The cooperative agreement outlines the goal of progressing toward routine commercial UAS operations in the NAS. Bell and our collaborative teammates Textron Systems, Xwing, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA), plan to demonstrate end-to-end commercial mission operations with Bell’s Autonomous Pod Transport 70 (APT70), which will include integrated Command and Control (C2) and Detect and Avoid (DAA) technologies. Collectively, we will explore requirements as they relate to commercial transport missions for medical, law enforcement/parapublic and offshore missions.
“Bell is proud to continue the collaboration of new VTOL UAS technologies to drive a path toward UAS certification and commercialization,” said Scott Drennan, Bell’s vice president of Innovation. “We believe the capabilities of our Autonomous Pod Transport, with the support from our team, will enable us to tackle key challenges facing commercial UAS operations today, leading to a successful demonstration.”
Bell will lead the design, development, production and systems integration of APT, while Textron Systems will supply command and control operations, Xwing will provide Detect and Avoid technologies, and CASA will provide weather avoidance technology.
Textron Systems Vice President of Applied Technology & Advanced Programs Wayne Prender stated:
“C2 technologies can extend the capabilities of unmanned systems across platforms, domains and users. Having extensive experience in the unmanned industry for several decades, we look forward to bringing this perspective to such a highly capable team.”
Xwing’s Founder and CEO Marc Piette added:
"Some of the key technologies involved here represent a significant step to the safe and widespread commercialization of autonomous VTOL cargo and passenger carrying aircraft. Xwing is excited to work with Bell, with the support of NASA and the FAA, to accelerate the path to certification of these systems."
Apoorva Bajaj, CASA’s Innovation Manager commented:
“CASA is excited to collaborate with Bell on the integration of low-altitude weather information into UAS operations. Precise information on location, timing and severity of thunderstorm activity, wind and rain will help maximize the time UAS operations can be safely conducted.”
Bell’s APT70 utilizes a tail-sitting electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) configuration that is capable of rotation and translation in flight to maximize its performance. APT70 is part of the eVTOL family of vehicles Bell is developing and can reach speeds of more than 100mph and has a baseline payload capability of 70 lbs.
The Project falls under the Integrated Aviation Systems Program office managed at NASA Headquarters in Washington by the agency's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California manages both the project and this solicitation and selection for the SIO demonstration.
For more information on NASA’s UAS Integration in the NAS project, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/programs/iasp/uas
Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 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 advanced air 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.
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, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. 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.
You may also like
Demand for Bell 407GXi Remains Robust in Australia
Singapore (May 9, 2023). Bell Textron Inc. has announced the delivery of seven Bell 407GXi helicopters to Australian customers across various segments in the last 12 months.
Eagle Copters Maintenance Pty. Ltd. to be Renamed Bell Textron Australia
Fort Worth, Texas (April 11, 2023) - Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced the renaming of Eagle Copters Maintenance Pty. Ltd. (ECM) to Bell Textron Australia Pty Ltd foll...
Autopilot System for Bell 407GXi Certified in the United Kingdom
Fort Worth, TX (April 5, 2023) Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced that the Bell 407GXi 3-axis autopilot has received certification from the United Kingdom’s Civil Avia...