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News: Bell eVTOL Sheds Two Engines; Goes Fully Electric

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  1. Bell eVTOL Sheds Two Engines; Goes Fully Electric
    The eVTOL project that Bell has been working on has changed in propulsion design slightly. The Bell Nexus 4EX -as it is called now-, will have four rotor ducts instead of six and be fully electric. It appears the move was spurred by performance and aerodynamics. Six fans would potentially provide more drag and lesser efficiency.
  2. The move to being fully-electric will make the aircraft quiet but also it means efficiency has to be a top priority. If the aircraft is not as efficient as it should then it will affect how it consumes electricity from the batteries. Battery density capacity is a limiting factor which explains why other electric eVTOL aircraft post conservative range estimates. At present, the target for the Bell Nexus 4EX eVTOL is around 50 nautical miles carrying four persons and a pilot as this is where they think battery energy power density capability is at. However, in the near future this is expected to improve with greater strides in battery power dynamics. The move to fully electrify the Nexus 4EX means they have dropped Safran for the propulsion aspect. Bell is expected to find a replacement electric motor supplier in early 2020. They might not ditch Safran entirely as they are looking to create a hybrid-electric version of the Nexus 4EX for longer range missions in the future.

    For more information:

    Bell/Textron Inc
    3255 Bell Flight Boulevard
    Fort Worth, TX 76118 USA

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