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Bell Reveals Bell Aircraft Laboratory for Future Autonomy Fly-by-Wire Operations


Bell Textron has recently unveiled its Aircraft Laboratory for Future Autonomy (ALFA). The ALFA has been developed by Bell's Advanced Programs team, and its main objective is to carry out flight manoeuvres using a safety system, as well as performing autonomous fly-by-wire flights. The integration of fly-by-wire technology is a crucial step in the future development of autonomous controls for Bell's commercial aircraft. This emerging technology aims to reduce the workload of pilots and enhance overall safety.

“Fly-by-wire flight, coupled with additional capabilities that are being integrated into ALFA, provides a great foundation for Bell to expand on its autonomous capabilities,” said Jason Hurst, executive vice president of engineering at Bell. “This aircraft will serve as a flying lab that will inform future autonomous technology development, which we can ultimately leverage to deliver the best rotor-craft solutions to global operators.”

ALFA’s aircraft safety system separates safety functions from flight control functions, allowing for rapid development and evaluation of novel flight control technology without compromising overall safety. The aircraft completed its first flight at Bell’s Commercial Assembly and Delivery Centre in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada and is now being used for further exploration at Bell’s Flight Research Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Bell is committed to developing technology that will provide the best possible, advanced solution for current and future customers. Bell’s Advanced Programs team continues to explore technology development to elevate Bell’s products for our Commercial and Military customers.


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