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Bell FCX-001 concept

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posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:13 PM
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Bell unveiled their FCX-001 concept helicopter at the Dallas Heli-Expo. The helicopter features electrically driven fans in a vented boom, morphable main rotor blades, and a radical new cabin design capable of seating up to 12 people. In a new, radical departure, the cockpit has no physical controls installed. Instead, the pilot will use an augmented reality concept that will allow him to customize his cockpit, while not obstructing his view in any way.

The technology for the FCX-001 is starting to come out now, but if the actual aircraft is built it's at least a generation away. Bell has begun bench testing a hybrid electric fan system for the tail boom of a new helicopter.




Appearing at Bell’s booth both in the form of a full-scale mockup and in virtual reality through the use of immersive headsets, the medium twin-engine aircraft incorporates some technologies currently in development at Bell and likely to mature in the near future, as well as those that are a bit more ambitious in their reach — as evidenced in a cockpit that is entirely free of physical controls.

Notable elements in the FCX-001’s design include a fan-driven anti-torque system, hybridized propulsion, morphing main rotor blade tips, an extensive use of glass in the fuselage, gull-wing doors, and the use of augmented reality in the cockpit to control the aircraft.

www.verticalmag.com...




posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:17 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


In a new, radical departure, the cockpit has no physical controls installed. Instead, the pilot will use an augmented reality concept that will allow him to customize his cockpit, while not obstructing his view in any way.


Augmented reality concept?

Like a helicopter that runs on its own software based operating system?

I'm confused.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: ColdWisdom

The pilot wears a VR headset, and operates virtual controls that are attached to the helicopter software. Instead of moving a physical control, he moves a software control that only he can see through his headset.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:27 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I may not be understanding, but with no physical controls, does that imply no mechanical last ditch efforts will be possible?

Im not a pilot, but wonder what you as a pilot think about augmented reality conteols?



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:28 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket

I suspect they'll end up with at least a rudimentary physical control system. I can't see the FAA certifying an aircraft that relies 100% on software, with no physical backup system.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Thanks, had me scratching my head



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 12:59 PM
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originally posted by: BlueJacket
a reply to: Zaphod58

I may not be understanding, but with no physical controls, does that imply no mechanical last ditch efforts will be possible?

Im not a pilot, but wonder what you as a pilot think about augmented reality conteols?


Augmented Reality, a vision Microsoft hopes to achieve real soon.

Imagine, an empty room. Now, put on a pair of augmented reality and now you have a living breathing world through a digital lens.

Future homes will be empty and devoid of most furniture as many people will be wearing augmented reality lens and simply load the homes digital furnishing.

Here is a base concept of augmented reality for the Xbox. Kind of like the kinect, we already do it in VR games.

youtu.be...

The only issue I have is the system will have to be full proof in order to work as it is soley reliant on active power and connections. Meaning, if the power goes out, your controls go out, lol.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:03 PM
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a reply to: Arnie123

That's why I think they'll have to have some kind of minimal control system installed. Basic instruments, such as attitude and airspeed, with cyclic and collective.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:06 PM
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Why waste space & gas hauling around a physical pilot at that point? Just have a guy flying it while sitting in a ground station.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:11 PM
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a reply to: PhantomTwo

Even with an augmented reality control system, there are advantages to having a pilot on board still.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:17 PM
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Cool ! It is beautiful.S&F!

Ok.. I must admit after 100 years of the same design i was expecting
more than retracts and sleek body panels. Electric is cool but
because i build cheap foamie RC electric aircraft, I guess
Im used to the idea. I know there is serious power in LiPo's and modern batteries
as well as strong efficient but small motors.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:18 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Makes sense. I'm really leaning hard for this products success, I've been a huge supporter of AR and think it is literally the next level of our society.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:18 PM
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dbl post
edit on 7-3-2017 by Arnie123 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:40 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Neither the Fenestron nor the NOTAR boom ever caught on nearly as well as their respective manufacturers hoped they would. Ditto for tandem and coaxial rotors, despite some pretty clear performance advantages.

I wonder if electric tail rotors will be the same deal. The helicopter industry in particular seems to be especially unfriendly to significant mechanical innovation, and part of me thinks that by the time electric tail rotors are truly viable, we'll all be flying around in giant DJI phantom-style man-carrying quadrotors and octorotors.

I the meanwhile, I predict the next Bell will have the funky fuselage of this concept, with a nice glass cockpit, physical controls, a traditional tail rotor, and possibly the morphing rotor tips and a HMD system as options for high-end variants.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 01:40 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Neither the Fenestron nor the NOTAR boom ever caught on nearly as well as their respective manufacturers hoped they would. Ditto for tandem and coaxial rotors, despite some pretty clear performance advantages.

I wonder if electric tail rotors will be the same deal. The helicopter industry in particular seems to be especially unfriendly to significant mechanical innovation, and part of me thinks that by the time electric tail rotors are truly viable, we'll all be flying around in giant DJI phantom-style man-carrying quadrotors and octorotors.

I the meanwhile, I predict the next Bell will have the funky fuselage of this concept, with a nice glass cockpit, physical controls, a traditional tail rotor, and possibly the morphing rotor tips and a HMD system as options for high-end variants.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 02:12 PM
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Really a beautiful design. Breathtaking and revolutionary in every aspect. I imagine that the view and ride in that has to be sci-fi smooth and what a view from every seat. Will take people a while to get used to the pilot looking like he's tripping on '___' in the front seat. Don't think consumer will ever go for riding in a pilotless aircraft. There should always be a professional there for safety in the event of an incident and also the company always needs someone to rely on or pin the blame on in the case of an incident.



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

very cool but i dont know how i'd feel watching my pilot wave his hands around controlling the chopper....


i think i'll stick to stick controlled aircraft....

what happens when there is a hiccup in the software


eta: just saw your post about a rudimentary control system but still.....AR controls seem a bit ambitious
edit on 7-3-2017 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2017 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

I'll stick with "Hell no I ain't gettin on no damn helicopter" thanks. AR or stick controlled.



posted on Apr, 14 2017 @ 04:11 PM
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Bell currently has a 3/4ths scale electric anti torque system that they've run at 1,000 rpm. They plan on testing a full size system this summer up to 6,000 rpm. They're not sure what kind of noise reduction they'll see, until they are running a live test.


FORT WORTH—Bell Helicopter’s FC-X mockup concept demonstrator is proving to be more than just a talking point.
The company’s innovations team in Fort Worth is preparing to demonstrate a full-scale Bell 407/429-class cross-flow fan anti-torque system and hopes to switch it on this summer.

A thrust-vectoring electric-driven fan embedded in the tail boom could someday replace traditional tail rotors on certain commercial and military helicopters, providing greater lateral and pitch control as well as improved safety and lower noise emissions.

aviationweek.com...



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