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Connecting Skies Bridging Continents


Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today revealed its Aircraft Laboratory for Future Autonomy (ALFA).

Crafted by Bell’s esteemed Advanced Programs team, ALFA stands as a dedicated platform for conducting flight maneuvers employing an aircraft safety system and executing autonomous fly-by-wire flights. This pioneering integration of fly-by-wire technology represents a pivotal advancement in the trajectory towards autonomous controls for Bell’s commercial aircraft. The technology aims not only to reduce pilot workload but also to enhance overall safety, embodying the future of aerial mobility.


Jason Hurst, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Bell, emphasised the transformative potential of fly-by-wire flight coupled with ALFA’s additional capabilities. He noted that ALFA serves as an invaluable flying laboratory, poised to inform and shape the future development of autonomous technologies. By leveraging insights gleaned from ALFA, Bell aims to deliver unparalleled rotorcraft solutions to operators worldwide.


At the heart of ALFA lies an innovative aircraft safety system designed to delineate safety functions from flight control functions. This architectural distinction empowers rapid development and evaluation of novel flight control technologies while upholding stringent safety standards. The maiden flight of the ALFA aircraft, conducted at Bell’s Commercial Assembly and Delivery Centre in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, marked a significant milestone.

Subsequently, the aircraft is undergoing further exploration and testing at Bell’s Flight Research Center in Fort Worth, Texas.


Bell remains steadfast in its commitment to pioneering technology that delivers unparalleled solutions for both current and future customers. The Advanced Programs team at Bell continues to push the boundaries of technological innovation, ensuring that Bell’s products remain at the forefront of the aviation industry. With ALFA, Bell ventures boldly into the realm of autonomous flight, laying the groundwork for a future where safety, efficiency, and innovation converge seamlessly in the skies.

SOURCE: BELL; Alexis Baird.

Innovation and Commercial Business for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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