Bell Helicopter President and CEO Mitch Snyder emphasized a focus on innovation for the future in terms of both “disruptive” and “leap-forward” technologies in its future aircraft.
At a Feb. 29 press conference during Heli-Expo, Snyder explained Bell’s innovation falls in three parts: safety improvements; harnessing the latest advances already implemented in other industries like drones and automotive; and looking to the future for the next big innovation. Bell is already implementing safety measures such as pilot-assisted, optionally-piloted aircraft, said Snyder. In terms of using the latest technology, Synder said, "We need to look into different types of propulsion, functional energy as far as techniques of propulsion … and also reducing noise—there’s really no reason that we can’t get noise down on rotorcraft.”
Snyder discussed the need for such innovation at shows like Heli-Expo. He recalled the Ehang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle on display at the Consumer Electronics Show and asked, "Why isn’t that at a show like this? … The drones are getting bigger, and now you have a drone that somebody can get inside and program it to fly to a point."