Wednesday, February 21, 2018

US: Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor undergoes flight testing.

(Amarillo)  The Bell V-280 Valor is a tiltrotor aircraft being developed by Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin for the United States Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. Designed for a cruising speed of 280 knots  (hence the name V-280) a top speed of 300 knots , a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi . The V-280 is one of two prototypes battling to replace the ubiquitous Blackhawk Helicopter.    

Whilst similar looking to the V22 Osprey a major difference, is that the engines remain in place while the rotors and drive shafts tilt. A driveshaft runs through the straight wing, allowing both prop rotors to be driven by a single engine in the event of engine loss. Which I am led to believe has been a major issue with the V22 . The V-280 has retractable landing gear, a triple-redundant fly by wire control system, and a V-tail configuration. The wings are made of a single section of Carbon fibre reinforced polymer composite, reducing weight and production costs. The V-280 will have a crew of 4 and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops.

Anyway the V-280 is currently undergoing flight tests in Texas where it has reached a flight speed of 80 knots and flying at an altitude of 1,000ft above ground and demonstrated those things which make Aircraft airworthy. Enjoy.