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Smithsonian exhibition showcases Bell’s future and legacy innovations

🕐 3 min read

WASHINGTON – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has announced the Bell Nexus Air Taxi will be on display in the new Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building FUTURES” exhibit coming this fall.

The Bell Nexus Air Taxi, which made its public debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2019, is Bell’s futuristic electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) concept vehicle designed to move people, goods or data to revolutionize mobility.

Bell said in a news release that the pursuit of electrically powered aircraft derives from Bell’s commitment to greener technology and the production and implementation of sustainable vehicles and operations.

“The Bell team is paving the way for future electric-powered vehicles and greener technology to flourish,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell. “We have a rich history of partnership with the Smithsonian Institute, with our various legacy aviation and aerospace products on display throughout the years, and I’m excited that the Bell Nexus will be part of the new FUTURES exhibit.”

The Nexus exhibition will include digital display monitors that allow visitors to explore the vehicle’s technology and its real-world applications to serve civilian, humanitarian and a variety of other missions.

Visitors will also be able to immerse themselves in Bell’s full history of flight while understanding how Bell will strive to shape advanced air mobility through the Nexus concept vehicle and future innovations in aviation, the company said.

The FUTURES exhibit will also showcase another iconic Bell innovation, the Bell Rocket Belt, widely renowned as the world’s first jet pack, a significant addition to the Smithsonian’s display of Bell technologies, the company said.

The National Air and Space Museum also holds the Bell X-1 plane, first aircraft to break the sound barrier, and the Bell 47B, first helicopter to receive civil certification.

“Since opening in 1881, the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building has introduced visitors to big ideas that have changed the world,” said Rachel Goslins, director of the Arts and Industries Building. “We’re thrilled to be able to debut the Nexus in the very building where Americans first encountered early automobiles, famous steam engines, the Apollo 11 lunar capsule and the Spirit of St. Louis.”

Celebrating the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary, “FUTURES” will temporarily reopen the Arts and Industries Building, the first U.S. National Museum, for the first time in nearly two decades, the news release said.

Part-exhibition, part-festival, “FUTURES” is a new museum experience that will fuse art, technology, design, and history to invite visitors to imagine not just one future, but many possible futures on the horizon.

Built with the proceeds from the first great American World’s Fair, the Arts and Industries Building is an architectural landmark on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., that introduced millions of visitors to wonders such as Edison’s lightbulb, the first telephone, and early moon rocks before closing to the public in 2004.

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