Recently Bell gave us an insight into how the future of the helicopter might look like. Apart from its futuristic design, the biggest change is actually in the cockpit. With a single chair configuration, the pilot will get it much easier. Most of the controls will disappear in favor of advanced automation and head-up displays. This will make flying easier and more accessible, which is especially handy for when the owner wants to fly him/herself.
The controls are not the only thing to disappear. Also, the tail rotor seemed to be soon become obsolete, being replaced by special fans placed in the tail of the helicopter. Also, the shape of the main blades has been replaced with a more efficient design. The shape of them can be changed in-flight so that they offer the optimum efficiency wither you hover or are in forward flight.
The design of the FCX is very futuristic, and because a lot of weight could be saved thanks to technical innovations such as the new system that replaces the tail rotor, the helicopter offers a lot of room. For this futuristic prototype Bell opted to show how many people could comfortably fit into the aircraft, which is currently eight. However, it doesn’t take much creativity to see what other things you can do with the space. Captain chairs, a lounge couch, even a bar shouldn’t be too difficult to realize. There might even be room enough for a romantic dinner with a spectacular view!
Thinking about placing an order? Unfortunately, the Bell FCX is nothing more than a prototype. Bell created it to gives us a glimpse into the future, as the FCX will not even be used for test-flights. Do expect that we will see a lot of inventions from this helicopter return in upcoming aircraft in the next 15 to 20 years.