The American company Bell Helicopter presented a project of a promising passenger aerotaxi Nexus, which is planned to be performed in a configuration of a convertoplan According to Aviation Week , the car will receive a hybrid power plant and six electric fans on a rotary suspension. It is assumed that this solution will provide a relatively quiet device with a long duration of flight, capable of using standard urban helicopter landing sites for landing and takeoff.
Today, many aircraft companies in the world are developing projects of light unmanned and manned aircraft that can be used to carry a small number of passengers both within the city and in the suburbs. It is believed that such devices will reduce the number of traffic jams and significantly speed up passenger traffic within the city, as well as between the city and suburb. Prospective aerotaxis planned to perform hybrid and all-electric.
The project aerotaxi Nexus Bell Helicopter presented at CES 2019, held in Las Vegas from 8 to 11 January. The perspective device is planned to be performed in five-seater – a pilot and four passengers. The car will receive a battery and a gas turbine engine of the French company Safran. The latter will unwind a generator that generates electricity to recharge the battery, power electric fans and on-board equipment.Nexus
On the Nexus will be installed six rotary fans in two in the bow, middle and tail parts. It is assumed that the air taxi will take off with fans installed parallel to the ground. For takeoff and landing, the device will be able to use standard helipads 11 to 11 meters. After setting the height, the electric fans will lean forward, creating a driving force. In aircraft mode, in horizontal flight, the machine will be able to fly at a speed of 130 knots (241 kilometers per hour).
According to the project, the range of the Nexus will be about 240 kilometers. Takeoff weight of the device will be 2.7 tons. He will be able to carry passengers and cargo weighing from 360 to 450 kilograms. It is assumed that regular flights will be able to start performing aero taxi in the mid-2020s. Its testing and certification should not take much time, since the Nexus will fly in manned mode.
In October last year, it became known that the New Zealand airline Air New Zealand, the country’s flagship carrier, decided to develop the air taxi service. The airline has signed an agreement with the startup Zephyr Airworks, the New Zealand division of the American company Kitty Hawk. Under the agreement, the carrier will form a fleet of electric aerotaxi Cora and will begin to provide short passenger services. Electric aerotaxi service is planned to be deployed in New Zealand over the next three years.