Bell Future Flight Controls


Rising to the challenge to create a full motion simulator as a research platform, Sector 5 Digital takes training and simulation to the next level for Bell and their Future Flight Controls program.


  • Bell aspires to define the future of technology and transportation by honing in on how current flight controls can be designed moving forward to be the most intuitive for the average user.
  • S5D was tasked with creating several flight simulators as a research tool to collect data from users as they interacted with custom controllers mapped to realistic flight model software.


  • S5D built out a platform to put the general population through realistic flight simulators with varying flight control sticks to allow for data comparison. The software was able to plug in Bell’s flight model data, allowing for an accurate representation of how the aircraft flies. This data collection was disguised as a fun and challenging game that had people coming back 5, 6, 7 times to try to top their friends’ best scores.
  • The custom flight experience used the HTC Vive Pro headset and actuated motion base-enabled simulators. Traditional helicopter pilots go through training on the ADS 33 course, which S5D recreated in VR within an exciting custom environment. Users would have to not only hover, fly and land, but go through the pirouette, slalom and various maneuvers, just like traditional helicopter pilots, thus providing relevant data for how this virtual course compares to the real thing.


  • These flight simulators provided Bell with a flexible and portable solution to gather important research data on their quest to redefine flight. Traditional training simulators are hugely expensive, stationary to where they are installed, and not available to the general public.
  • This solution allowed Bell to take them on the road to trade shows and STEM schools, as well as change out the flight sticks and flight model whenever their research needed to change variables. At CES 2019 alone, there were roughly 97,000,000 data points recorded that provided invaluable comparison.
  • Future Flight Controls has become a key tool for Bell and is still being customized to this day.
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