At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Bell revealed the latest iteration of its Nexus VTOL aircraft, which is being developed as the preferred platform for Uber’s Elevate air taxi program.
The Nexus may look like an oversized drone, but it is so much more. The 6500-pound aircraft sports six, 8-foot articulated ducted fans, which enable the platform to lift off the ground vertically like a traditional helicopter before rotating 90 degrees, allowing for faster air travel much like a plane. Landing is as easy as rotating the fans back into their original position and setting down gently.
Best of all, the Nexus fits on a standard 40-foot by 40-foot landing pad, which means that cities won’t have to radically change existing infrastructure to accommodate them. And since the Nexus utilizes a hybrid electric power system, it should be able to fly more quietly and more efficiently than conventional ‘copters. As Bell reps told Engadget, the Nexus will carry four passengers and a pilot up to a range of 150 miles and be able to travel that distance in just one hour.
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