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

May 07, 2024

Fort Worth, TX (May 7, 2024) - Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today revealed its Aircraft Laboratory for Future Autonomy (ALFA). Developed by Bell's Advanced Programs team, ALFA is dedicated to performing flight maneuvers with an aircraft safety system and executing autonomous fly-by-wire flights. The fly-by-wire integration was a critical step in future development of autonomous controls for Bell's commercial aircraft, an emerging technology that aims to reduce pilot workload and enhance safety.

      


"Fly-by-wire flight, coupled with additional capability that are being integrated into ALFA, provides a great foundation for Bell to expand on its autonomous capabilities," said Jason Hurst, executive vice president, Engineering, 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 rotorcraft 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.


Contact
Alexis Baird
Innovation and Commercial Business for Europe, Middle East and Africa
+1 817-487-1020

About Bell
Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders.

Connect with Textron IR

David Rosenberg, Vice President, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288
Kyle Williams, Manager, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288

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