The past two years have seen visions of traffic-hopping bliss delivered via spry air taxis coming at us like peregrine falcons dive-bombing pigeons, and Bell just made sure 2019 won’t be any different. At CES this afternoon, the aerospace company unveiled its own view of this future. The 6,000-pound Nexus comes equipped with a 150-mile range, a top speed of 150 mph, expansive windows for someday-to-be-dazzled passengers, an augmented-reality-enhanced flight experience, and—most importantly—a grounding in reality that will likely prove to be the envy of all air taxi startups.
The Nexus, whose interior Bell showed at last year’s CES, will use six tilting ducted fans powered by a hybrid-electric propulsion system, with wings helping supplement lift in forward flight. The actual duct casings themselves will contribute lift during horizontal flight, as well, but the Nexus will rely on the six 8-foot-diameter fans for forward thrust and, while pivoted to the horizontal, takeoffs and [...]