Bell Helicopters has announced a new teaming agreement with Garmin International, which will see the two companies collaborating on the development and integration of the autonomous vehicle management computer (VMC) systems to support Bell’s vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
Carl Wolf, Vice-President of Aviation Marketing and Sales at Garmin was honoured to pair with Bell: “As a demonstrated and trusted innovator in the avionics industry, we look forward to leveraging our decades of experience, our ongoing development of simplified vehicle operations, and expansion into autonomous systems to deliver an innovative solution to this exciting, emerging market,” he said.
Bell and Garmin have a history of collaborating on vertical lift aircraft projects, and Bell is hoping that Garmin will bring its innovative system, which provides enhanced safety and situational awareness in all weather conditions.
Bell will lead the design, development and production of VTOL systems in the collaboration, while Garmin will lead the design, development and production of the avionics hardware and software needed for on-demand mobility (ODM) vehicle management, including primary flight information, navigation/communication, flight guidance and flight management systems.
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 operationalise ODM in the vertical dimension, but we believe the future is real, possible, and very close to becoming a reality.”
Safran will provide the hybrid propulsion system for the VTOL aircraft.