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Uber Partner Unveils Flying Taxi That Could Take To Skies Next Year

After showing off the cabin last year of the then-unnamed air taxi, a full-size model of Bell’s flying taxi concept landed at CES 2019 this week. The Bell Nexus is a 600 pound hybrid with a 150-mile range that uses a single turbine engine to generate electricity for the six-fan rotor design.

Bell was one of the first aircraft manufacturers to team up with uber in 2017 when the ride-hailing company first released its ambitious plan to create a network of city-based flying taxis. the nexus is Bell's attempt to enter the electric VTOL (eVTOL) market after already producing the 22 Ospreys and the forthcoming V-280 valor.

Bell recognizes that autonomous flight tech won’t be ready in time so as well as seating four passengers there is also space for a pilot in the cabin. as a result, Bell is currently working to develop advanced controls in an attempt to scale down the depth and breadth of flight training required.

The Nexus system will be designed to fly safely even if one of the fans becomes disabled. if the turbine engine in the hybrid propulsion system fails, the onboard battery will kick in to enable safe landing and even continue the flight. Bell has pulled in various partners to assemble the flying taxi. French jet engine specialist Safran will design the hybrid propulsion system; Thales, also French, will handle the flight control computers. batteries will come from EPS, flight control hardware from Moog, and avionics from Garmin. The company aims to have the Nexus in flight over a handful of major markets by ‘Mid-2020s‘, said Scott Drennan, director of innovation.

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