Bell Unveils High-Speed VTOL Concepts


Bell Textron introduced several new aircraft design concepts on Monday that will use the company’s high-speed vertical takeoff and landing (HSVTOL) technology. The concepts include features such as low downwash hover capability, cruise speeds over 400 knots and runway independence. The technology is being developed primarily for military applications.

“Bell’s HSVTOL technology is a step change improvement in rotorcraft capabilities,” said Jason Hurst, Bell vice president for innovation. “Our technology investments have reduced risk and prepared us for rapid development of HSVTOL in a digital engineering environment, leveraging experience from a robust past of technology exploration and close partnerships with the Department of Defense and Research Laboratories.”

According to Bell, the technology will blend “the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed, range and survivability features of a fighter aircraft.” The HVSTOL concepts are being designed for a range of missions including unmanned personnel recovery and tactical mobility. Aircraft gross weights will range from 4,000 pounds to over 100,000 pounds.

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Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Is the combustion turbines comment a tongue in cheek joke?
    It’s my understanding that any engine that “burns” fuel is a combustion engine. Even the steam engine, although it is external combustion, not internal.