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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Bell to partner with Thales for flight control system for urban air taxi

Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced Oct. 23 it will team up with Thales, for the development of flight control systems for Bell’s vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft and on-demand mobility (ODM) solutions.

Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets headquartered in La Défense, France.

“We continue to expand our team and capabilities for our ODM aircraft to bring the most advanced technology available and new vertical lift solutions to the market,” said Bell’s Scott

Drennan, vice president of Innovation. “Our collaboration with Thales is intended to ensure a state-of-the-art, affordable flight controls system that will be designed to meet the needs of future piloted and fully autonomous on-demand mobility vehicles.”

“Thales is playing a leading role in shaping the autonomous world,” said Thales Vice President for Avionics in Canada, Michel Grenier. “We are delighted to partner with Bell and contribute to the future of on-demand mobility. This agreement demonstrates our expertise in avionics and

best-in-class flight control technologies that support critical safety and autonomy requirements.”

Bell continues to build the ODM network for the development of the Air Taxi. Thales will lead the flight controls system technology design and development. Additional partners announced will provide propulsion systems, avionics and vehicle management computers.

Bell has teamed up with Uber and Hillwood to develop an urban aviation plan.

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