BizSmart Accelerator 2019 Best of Show – Passenger Air Vehicle for Bell Flight & Biz Strategy for Future Transportation

During the Summer of 2019, aspiring entrepreneurs came from all over the globe to the BizSmart Accelerator for a unique and out-of-the-box design challenge presented by iconic aerospace company Bell Flight, partner with Uber to obtain the first FAA approval for a flying “air taxi”. The project was to define a unique target market, engineer the human factor cabin interface and cabin design for an autonomous Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV).

Even though Bell Flight is far into the air vehicle design of the Nexus Air Taxi, there are many aspects of the human interaction with an autonomous PAV that need to be shaped by the generation who will be flying in future air vehicle’s. If you think back over the past 100 years, we have gone from transportation by horses, to automobiles, trains and airplanes. Each of these modes of transportation have very different requirements for the human interaction. BizSmart Accelerator participants were asked to identify a specific PAV target market and the design the cabin for safety and comfort. Their design considered everything from how to board the PAV, seating, methods of communication to control the take-off, flight and landing of the PAV, as well other features that would benefit the PAV experience.

During a two-week workshop, seven BizSmart teams competed to develop a product design and business proposal. Pitching at the juried show at Microsoft on Aug 2, 2019, the FLYtertainment team took the top prize with a concept that presented a future with a PAV that had the potential to dominate the entertainment industry. By 2035, they propose, every amusement park will feature dozens of PAVs which fly in dazzling loops and plummet in heart stopping free falls. The need for large areas of land and massive infrastructure associated with the once-popular roller coaster will be no more. With the rise of PAVs, the once thrilling attraction of grounded rollercoasters will become obsolete.

The FLYtertainment PAV is an aerial entertainment vehicle. It seats four people, two in the front and two in the back. The seats are positioned higher to ensure visibility and the cabin almost transparent to enhance the experience of flight. There are several variations of the vehicle including the Pathrider and the FreedomMax. The Pathrider has preset routes, and passengers can choose between flight paths of varying intensities. The Freedom Max allows thrill seekers to control the vehicle, with some computer overrides to guarantee safety. Additional features include Augmented Reality technology to give riders the choice of geography and landscape. Imagine taking a ride at hyper speed through the Grand Canyon or over Mount Everest!!!

The BizSmart Accelerator Team members for FLYtertainment are Alan Lee: Product Development Manager, Margaret Dowling: Customer Experience Manager, Michael Suma: Partnership Ventures and Project Manager, Pranay Banka: Chief Marketing Officer, Michael Varnava: Chief Sales Officer.

The BizSmart Accelerator was led by Workshop Director Scott Meader at Santa Clara University on July 21- Aug 2, 2019. The Juried Expo was conducted at Microsoft, Silicon Valley on Aug 2, 2019. Judges were: Bell Flight Engineer Carlos Fenny, Keiretsu investor, serial entrepreneur and inventor Russell Brand, Band of Angels investor Sonja Markova, and Palvinder Jagait, founder Playground Studios one of the premier business launch video production facilities in Silicon Valley. The FLYtertainment team has been invited to the Bell Flight Innovation Center in Fort Worth, Texas in November to make their business pitch to the Bell Flight Innovation Engineering Team.

Special thanks to Rohn Olson, Director of Aircraft and Propulsion Systems at Bell Hellicopter and Carlos Fenny, Engineering Technical Fellow, Bell Flight Innovation Group for their tremendous support that inspired the BizSmart inventors to create ambitious and futuristic designs and air transportation systems that are an imaginative look into the future.

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