Could the Bell Nexus Be the Air Taxi of the Future?

How many times have you been stuck in traffic, either due to some unexpected problem on the road due to roadworks, an accident which began with either a mundane reason or a serious injury where the emergency services have gotten involved, a gang of firemen are trying to remove the injured party from the wreck of the car, or the paramedic technicians are trying to get the party out, causing congestion?

Maybe…. you will take the scenic route instead by catching the Nexus air taxi instead, which is this company’s solution for a quick and convenient, and not to mention, very comfortable urban transport solution. The concept behind the Nexus is incredibly simple since the company has already been developing helicopters for many years, but now they are building a cross between an ordinary helicopter and a car which will ferry people through the air on their cross-town commute which will slice the journey times, because that is what its meant to do.

Indeed the company has been ferrying people across the urban obstacles for years with traditional helicopters, and now they are combining car and aircraft and building something smaller and more convenient for commuters. Think of the possibilities – you are taking the Nexus air taxi from either your place of work, or from a car park, and you tune into the local news broadcasts, ironically listening to reports of how the regular traffic has clogged the roads, closing multiple lanes, with more and more cars making it impossible to get anywhere while making the suggestion you would be better off ordering a Nexus.

Some people may think the Nexus and the concept behind it is something from a science-fiction novel, but in truth, the concept is actually in the range of modern technology. In the technically-advanced cabin where customers will be shuttled to and from work, or just to places that have been made virtually impossible to reach due to the traffic congestion making you seek the open freedom of the skies above, future flyers will be able to enjoy comforts rarely afforded in ground-bounded taxis or cars, thanks to the connected technologies such as video-calling, WiFi, wireless charging and artificial intelligence, the passengers on the Nexus air taxi will be able to maximize their journey time which will be a cut a fraction anyway while they enjoy the view from above.

While the Nexus is hardly unique in the field of air taxi services – there are established companies and start-ups who have crowded this field much like the streets and roads of the cities that have made them develop the technology behind the concept in the first place, so the company Bell is just one of many companies who have begun the construction of mock-ups for air taxis. Even Audi has entered the game by dabbling in air car transportation, now they’ve hedged a bet the future of transportation.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a mockup was presented to showcase the design.

Bell is a well-established company that has been designing and constructing helicopters since the 1940s, it is the builder of the V-22 Osprey and the V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft sold to the military, so its experience with constructing the right type of aircraft for air taxi services that take off like a conventional helicopter and fly in the horizontal like an ordinary plane make them the right people for the job, though the other companies cannot be sneered at either.

There are plans for the Nexus to be flown initially by a pilot, but there are also plans for it to be eventually flown automatically later on. The Nexus will be an aircraft made of carbon fiber, weighing around 6,500 pounds, and possess a range of 150 or so miles, with a top speed of around 150mph. The best thing about the Nexus is it will be small, so small in fact it would be able to take off from and land in an area forty feet by forty feet, which is the rough size of a helipad.

Although the mock-up presented in Las Vegas cannot fly, there are plans by the company to construct and test its prototype at its Texas Headquarters, with hopes for it to begin flights in 2023 to test it out and make improvements before it goes into service a year later. The Nexus is a culmination of work between and other companies, such as Garmin, which handles the avionic side of the operation.

There will be safety precautions of course, though the Nexus will not possess a whole-aircraft parachute, like some conventional aircraft and even a few other air-taxis. For instance, if the gas turbine fails, the battery will automatically kick in, giving the Nexus enough power to land safely.

Could the Nexus be the future?

In a few years time, in 2023, the first of the Nexus air taxis will be available for service, and there will be markets for air taxi transportation, but the Nexus will not be the only one. There are other companies don’t forget that are busily coming up with air taxi concepts, so there will be rivals for Bell. The Nexus is a step forward, though whether or not the craft will become THE air taxi remains to be seen.


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