Bell’s VTOL flying-wing stealth bomber

No, not really. This Bell Helicopter patent might suggest to some that thecompany is returning its roots as a manufacturer of fixed-wing aircraft, butcompany officials say they simply file patents anytime one of their engineerscomes up with a good idea.  This was oneof those ideas. bell-flying-wing.jpg

Basically, even though these drawing might seem to be reminiscentof some sort of vertical take-off and landing flying-wing strike aircraft, Bellsays it is no such thing–it’s merely a patent for a new type of control system.But it would be pretty awesome if they actually built something like this. bell-flying-wing-2.jpg

Nonetheless, it does look a lot like some of the conceptsbeing looked at for a recently launched Defense Advanced Research ProjectsAgency (DARPA) X-plane project. Basically, DARPA wants to build a machine thathovers better than a helicopter but could fly much faster–300 knots to as high400 knots.bell-flying-wing3.jpg

However, DARPA says it wants something radically differentfrom anything that has come before, so whatever folks come up with will likelybe quite different from this.

My colleague Zach wrote about this a few weeks ago. Alsohere is a link to the patent.

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