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Bell FCX-001

Advanced Medium-Utility Helicopter Proposal [ 2030 ]

The impressive FCX-001 is the Bell Helicopter vision of the future of rotorcraft flight.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/04/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Bell Helicopter's vision of the rotorcraft future involves concepts born through its "FCX-001" development. This sleek offering champions such qualities as A.I.,morphing main blades, thrust-vectoring tail unit, advanced Fly-by-Wire (FbW), and cabin modularity. The helicopter paves the way for an all-new generation of vertical flight capabilities for the next generation and was debuted at Heli-Expo 2017.

In the FCX-001, the fuselage is given a heavily glazed, greenhouse-style appearance, offering excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit as well as the passenger cabin. Glass panels run from nose to the rear of the cabin over, above, and below the occupants, giving both pilot and passengers excellent views from the vehicle. The cabin itself will sport modularity for various seating arrangements (up to 12 passengers) as well as whole-cargo loads as needed making the design wholly versatile depending on mission need. The tricycle undercarriage is wheeled and fixed during flight with a nose leg under the "chin" position and short main legs extending out from under the rear-center mass of the aircraft.

A hybrid propulsion scheme is to power the helicopter, combining the benefits and inherent abilities of proven the turboshaft engine with an electric drive. The pair of main engines is to sit atop the fuselage in the usual way and aspirated by integrated intake sections while being exhausted through vented ports aft. Part of this arrangement is the specially-designed "anti-torque" system with torque cancellation managed through a unique vented thrust-vectoring system found along the empennage. This negates the need for a traditional tail rotor unit, reducing complexity as well as operating noises as a result. The embedded anti-torque system means a more streamlined tailboom than what is achieved through contemporary helicopter design, reducing protrusions at the tail to just a single, small-area vertical fin.

The main rotor features a low-profile mast design with five-bladed arrangement turning in a clockwise fashion. What Bell calls "morphing rotor blades" will give the FCX-001 the ability to "rearrange" its main blades in-flight to better suit particular flight envelopes such as cruising, dashing, and hovering actions. In the existing concept work, the blades have cranked tips.

A virtual cockpit is planned reducing the pilot to one. This deletes the traditional instrument panel and the amount of real estate such components take up in the cockpit. In its place will be lightweight headgear with a simplified hands-on control scheme as a hands-off experience is envisioned, the pilot acting more as a "flight manager" while advanced, autonomous A.I. and digital processing systems handle direct control from Point A to Point B. Three independent flight control computers will be in play for redundancy and maximum safety. In the concept work, the pilot wears a simple lightweight and has a hands-on, touch-control scheme.

NOTE: Performance specs and structural dimensions found on this page are estimates based on the part of the author. Changes to this entry will be made as new information allows.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

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United States

Program in Progress.


National flag of the United States United States (possible)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Special-Mission: MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC)
Extraction of wounded combat or civilian elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and available internal volume or external carrying capability.
Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Commercial Aviation
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
VIP Service
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

Series has a tactical capability to take-off and / or land vertically, a quality commonly associated with helicopters.
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
Utilizes two or more types of propulsion systems to achieve desired performance / flight actions.
Engine outlet(s) designed to direct thrust to certain angles, achieving enhanced agility.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.

37.7 ft
(11.50 m)
36.1 ft
(11.00 m)
11.5 ft
(3.50 m)
Empty Wgt
5,842 lb
(2,650 kg)
6,614 lb
(3,000 kg)
Wgt Diff
+772 lb
(+350 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Bell FCX-001 production variant)
Installed: 2 x Turboshaft engines of unknown make, model, and output power with electric drive driving five-bladed main rotor unit.
Max Speed
249 mph
(400 kph | 216 kts)
Cruise Speed
221 mph
(355 kph | 192 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+28 mph
(+45 kph | 24 kts)
19,685 ft
(6,000 m | 4 mi)
621 mi
(1,000 km | 540 nm)
2,300 ft/min
(701 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Bell FCX-001 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings:

FCX-001 - Base Project Designation.

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Images Gallery

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Image of the Bell FCX-001
Image from official Bell Helicopters marketing materials.

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