The Bell Nexus is an “air taxi” set to be launched in conjunction with Taxi firm Uber. The Helicopter uses a hybrid-electric propulsion aircraft system with six tilting ducted fans for taking off and vertical landing from a launchpad or rooftop. Uber is set to include the new aerial taxi service shortly, propelling the Fort Worth, Texas-based Bell into the future. After a rebranding last year, Bell has morphed into a technology company after long years as a military and civilian helicopter company. There are plans to make electric VTOL (eVTOL) aircraft, and the Bell Nexus is the first foray into an unknown, futuristic market.
Uber teamed up with Bell in 2017 with ambitious plans to create a network of inter-city flying taxis providing an alternative to street-level traffic. Bell has since been hard at work building its own designs and concepts. With the Nexus, Bell is seeking to have the Nexus in flight over several major markets by mid-2020. The Nexus is the ideal vehicle for a proposed flying taxi service due to its approachability. It is a robust aircraft you will feel safe and confident bringing your family into with its comfortable interior surroundings. The rotors are obscured by the large ducts, so there is no danger of losing a limb, and the aircraft is welcoming to people who haven’t travelled by helicopter before.
The Nexus can seat up to five passengers and has a gross weight capacity of 272 kilograms. Bell decided on a hybrid-electric propulsion system, instead of an all-electric mode, and that increases the range and loading capacity. There are at least 19 companies developing flying-cars, including Boeing, Airbus and Kitty Hawk, owned by Google founder Larry Page. However, the Bell Nexus has the edge, and with its strategic partnership with Uber, you can expect flying taxis around mid-2020.