Bell and Garmin team up on VTOL avionics

Helicopters Staff
October 11, 2018
By Helicopters Staff
Bell Helicopter signed what it describes as a teaming agreement with Garmin International on the development and integration of the autonomous vehicle management computer (VMC) systems to support Bell’s vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.


“At Bell, we believe a convergence of technological advancements is enabling the industry to drive solutions that will bring viable urban air transportation to our everyday lives in a way that is safe, quiet, convenient and affordable,” Bell’s Scott Drennan, vice president of innovation, said. “This collaboration with Garmin brings us even closer to achieving our goal. There is still work to be done to operationalize on-demand mobility in the vertical dimension, but we believe the future is real, possible, and very close to becoming a reality.”

Bell explains it has a strong history of collaboration with Garmin in bringing vertical lift aircraft to market. Garmin’s systems for Bell’s on-demand mobility project will provide enhanced safety and situational awareness in all weather conditions.

“We are honored to team with Bell to provide the autonomous vehicle management computer for the future of urban air travel,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation marketing and sales, Garmin.

In this collaboration, Bell will lead the design, development and production of VTOL systems. Garmin will lead the design, development and production of the avionics hardware and software needed for ODM vehicle management, including primary flight information, navigation/communication, flight guidance and flight management systems. As previously announced, Safran will provide the hybrid propulsion system for Bell’s VTOL aircraft.

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