The air taxi cabin revealed by Bell at CES 2018. Image courtesy of Bell
Bell and Safran will collaborate on the development of innovative hybrid-electric power system solutions to support Bell’s vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft concept. The endeavor was announced Tuesday at the Future of Transportation World Conference in Cologne, Germany.
Safran has been researching the potential of hybrid propulsion systems for years. Even the head of its helicopter engines business unit is hoping to take part in the future of urban air mobility using these systems.
“We believe at Safran Helicopter Engines that there will be a revolution in mobility in the decades coming. And we see it through VTOLs and we want definitely to be part of that story,” Safran Helicopter Engines CEO Franck Saudo said at Heli-Expo in March. “It will involve hybrid architectures involving gas turbines mixed with electrical power generation systems.”
Bell and Safran’s shared vision for electric and hybrid-electric aircraft is to strive for the successful deployment of Bell's air taxis and new on-demand mobility systems in the future.
In this collaboration, Bell will lead the design, development and production of its VTOL systems. Safran will develop a disruptive propulsion system.