Thursday, September 7, 2017

US: Third Gen Tilt rotor Bell V-280 Valor looks good for its first flight.

(Amarillo) The Bell V-280 Valor is a third-generation tilt-rotor aircraft being developed by Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin for the United States Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program and the pictures below show that the demonstrator is ready for its first flight.

The Valor is Bell’s entry for the medium segment of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program which is looking at a replacement for the Army’s existing medium-lift helicopter fleet of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks and Boeing AH-64.

Powered by two 5,000-horsepower General Electric T64-GE-419 engines, the V-280 has a triple-redundant fly-by-wire control system, and is designed to carry two pilots, two crew chiefs, and 11 to 14 passengers at a cruise speed of 280 knots (hence the name V-280)  and a combat range of 500 to 800 nautical miles. It builds on the existing V22 Osprey currently in service. However it faces stiff opposition from  the Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant – which has reinvented the helicopter, by adding a propeller to the back in which gain some much needed speed.