Bell and Hyundai Soar Into the Air Taxi Race
ERIC ADAMS TRANSPORTATION 01.07.2020 08:16 PM
So far, development of the electric vertical-lift aircraft that will enable our dreams of future urban air taxis has largely been the purview of small aviation startups. The “bigs,” Boeing and Airbus, have acquired or partnered with smaller firms, while automakers—who bring expertise in mass-production if not flying—have mainly stayed on the sidelines. That changed in a big way this week at CES.
First, helicopter manufacturer Bell confirmed that the Nexus air taxi concept vehicle it revealed last year wasn’t merely vaporware. On Monday at CES, the company unveiled mockups of a smaller, nimbler fully electric model, the Nexus 4EX, based on the lessons learned from the response to the earlier model. Bell further staked its claim in future aeromobility, announcing a proposed smart city ecosystem that would…