full scale design of bell nexus air taxi 4EX concept at CES

full scale design of bell nexus air taxi 4EX concept at CES

after showcasing its flying taxi last year, helicopter manufacturer bell has returned to unveil a full-scale redesign of its aircraft at CES 2020. the new nexus 4EX removes two rotor ducts and adds a purely electric propulsion option.


live from las vegas: this article is part of designboom’s coverage of all the latest launches from CES 2020 live from the trade show grounds.

full scale design of bell nexus air taxi 4EX concept at CES

image © designboom
cover image courtesy of bell



the 7,000-pound aircraft can hit speeds of up to 150mph and features bell’s signature powered-lift concept with four tilting ducted fans that can be configured as hybrid-electric or all-electric. that’s two less than the six-rotor ducts proposed for the original nexus EVTOL, which according to bell, reduces drag and is, therefore, more efficient in cruise mode.


bell expects that the 4EX would be capable of flying up to 52nm (97km) while carrying four to five passengers, plus a pilot. it will have a range of up to 60 nautical miles at top speed.

full scale design of bell nexus air taxi 4EX concept at CES

image © designboom



‘the vision for the bell nexus remains the same, but by taking a mature system-level approach to design for an objective market vehicle, we believe this configuration unlocks a capable, certifiable and commercially viable product,’ said mitch snyder, bell president and CEO.


the 4EX is designed for autonomous operation but bell is anticipating the need for a pilot on board until public acceptance of autonomous flight is secured. in terms of a timeline for a nexus demonstrator vehicle, bell is looking to have a certified system ready to serve the public in the next five years.

image © designboom



bell has developed aerOS, a proprietary system that runs on microsoft azure and was created to manage fleet information. it observes aircraft health, and helps to manage goods, products and predictive data and maintenance.

image © designboom



the nexus air taxi will coexist to move people, products and information across connected cities. bell features its maas plans which look beyond the aircraft and demonstrate how to integrate maas into communities, making on-demand air mobility available to everyone.


‘with a focus on the passenger experience, we revealed the technology and the vehicle that will revolutionize transportation in cities at ces 2019; this year, we’re demonstrating what governing, operating, working and living in a smart city will look like,’ snyder adds.

image © designboom



the company is also working on a hybrid-electric variant of the 4EX to tackle longer flights. it will use a turbo-generator to charge batteries and power electric motors. it will have a range of 130 nautical miles.


project info


company: bell
model: 4EX
event: CES 2020

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