If the stylized dragonfly in its new logo didn’t tip you off, the disappearance of the word “helicopter” from its name should provide an ample clue that Bell Helicopter – or just Bell, we should say now – recognizes that its future lies well beyond the boundaries of rotorcraft like the ubiquitous Hueys and JetRangers that made it famous since the 1960s and 70s.
As any aviation history buff knows, Bell started out in 1930s as a manufacturer of what would become legendary World War II fighters like the P-39 Airacobra, and later the Bell X-1 rocket plane flown beyond the sound barrier for the first time in 1947 by Chuck Yeager.
But Bell has been linked in more recent times as the successful helicopter division of Textron Aviation, which also owns sister brands Cessna and Beechcraft. Noting that the company is moving in a new direction for a new era of vertical aviation, Bell president and CEO Mitch Snyder explained that Bell is now a “technology company redefining flight.”
Last month, Bell was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas displaying a full-scale design of an on-demand Urban Air Taxi, a joint project with the ride-sharing service Uber called Uber Elevate.
Projects like this one explain the unusual choice for the reimagined Bell logo, Snyder says. “The dragonfly can take off and land wherever it wants, fly quickly and efficiently in any direction, and hover at will. It represents the mastery of flight, something Bell strives to achieve.”
Bell unveiled the new logo and mission-vision to the vertical-flight world today at Heli-Expo, which opened in Las Vegas this morning.