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Bell Unveils ALFA Testbed

A Fun Name for a Run-of-the-Mill Project Bell Textron showed off its new Bell 429 testbed aircraft for the ALFA project, showing the way forward for an industry eager to advance. The program, ‘Aircraft Laboratory for Future Autonomy’, seems more like a nice-sounding backronym, but the end result should be the same: Advanced, self-flying aircraft that can be trusted to operate with minimal human oversight. The ALFA platform will be dedicated to performing flight maneuvers with an aircraft safety system and executing autonomous fly-by-wire flights. That integration is a critical aspect of its development, Bell says.

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