Bell filed for a patent entitled “Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) Aircraft” on Jan. 2, 2018, and it was published July 26, 2018. Aviation Week’s Graham Warwick noted (in “Does Patent Application Reveal Bell’s eVTOL Design?, The Weekly Of Business Aviation, Aug. 13, 2018) that it “may provide clues to Bell’s design for [its eVTOL] air taxi.” US Patent US20180208305A1 shows, added Warwick, “a tiltrotor concept with three tilting ducted fans — a pair of single-rotor fore fans mounted on the wingtips and a coaxial-rotor aft fan mounted between rear supports that also carry the vertical tails. The design is consistent with teaser videos previously released by Bell” and shown at the Vertical Flight Society’s Forum 73 in May 2017.
Bell has meanwhile concluded the conceptual design of its air taxi for the Uber Elevate mission and has transitioned to the preliminary design phase. According to RotorHub, Bell CEO Mitch Snyder said in a briefing at the Farnborough Airshow that “the vehicle may eventually use a fully electric architecture, after initial implementation of the hybrid electric design.”