The Next Steps for Bell’s Electrically Distributed Anti-Torque

From the creation of the first certified commercial helicopter to introducing tiltrotor technology, Bell’s iconic legacy consists of revolutionary ideas that have disrupted industries. Today we continue this pursuit for coveted vertical lift products, evident through our unveiling of Bell's Electrically Distributed Anti-Torque (EDAT), an unconventional tail rotor with innumerable opportunities. In a Vertical Flight Society online webinar on Nov. 16, Bell’s Program Director for Light Aircraft, Eric Sinusas, shared potential applications for this latest innovation. “I think it has potential to potentially replace them [traditional tail rotors],” Sinusas said. “There are benefits to the system that the conventional system just does not have innately.”

This unprecedented technology was revealed in February 2020, sparking global interest from rotorcraft community and technology aficionados for its ingenuity. Since then, Bell continues to test the unique concept, which includes four electrical motors driving a fixed-pitch, rpm-controlled fan capable of operating speeds around 6,000 to 7,000 rpm. “I think we can say that we have successfully proven the concept… it works,” Sinusas says. “Now we’re into the phase of optimization and we’re fine-tuning the performance characteristics, pushing the envelope further.”

After participating in the VFS forum, Aviation Week clarified how EDAT’s technology offers an enhanced experience in terms of extra flight operational support and cost. “The fans are driven by generators run off the tail rotor drive, with wires to the electrical motors replacing the complex tail rotor shaft and gearboxes running through the tail boom. This eliminates the cost of maintaining the tail rotor shaft.”

With growing global intrigue, Bell can’t wait to showcase this aircraft in action and continue exploring new technology to offer our customers enhanced flight experiences.

About Bell

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 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.

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