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."