Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, and Spirit AeroSystems Inc. announced on June 15, 2015 that major assembly has started on the Bell V-280 Valor fuselage. The delivery of the first V-280 fuselage to the Bell Helicopter facility in Amarillo, Texas, is expected later this year. First flight of the V-280 Technology Demonstrator is anticipated in the second half of 2017.
«Spirit AeroSystems brings decades of composite manufacturing experience to the team which allows us to quickly build an aircraft like the V-280», said Phil Anderson, Spirit AeroSystems senior vice president of Defense. «This is a major milestone for the technology demonstrator unit. Spirit AeroSystems is proud to be on Team Valor and we are excited to be designing and building the composite cabin and cockpit for the V-280».
«U.S. ground forces require significant increase in speed and range to operate against and strike adversary systems much deeper than existing platforms», said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter. «That is the vision for Future Vertical Lift (FVL). The V-280 advanced technology tiltrotor provides the Department of Defense (DoD) with unmatched speed, range and payload for expeditionary maneuver to win these future conflicts. We are confident in the capability that the V-280 will provide, and we are proud to have Spirit AeroSystems adding their expertise to Team Valor and to the Bell V-280. Spirit AeroSystems beginning major assembly on the V-280 fuselage brings this high-performance aircraft one step closer to completion».
With more than twice the speed and twice the range of current helicopter platforms, the Bell V-280 is designed to provide combatant commanders with the ability to reach the battlefield while providing superior low-speed agility at the objective. The efficient speed and reduced reaction time provided by the V-280 will allow operators to outmaneuver their adversaries. The tiltrotor’s speed, range and payload significantly reduce logistical, security and medical footprints, freeing up personnel and additional combat power.
Bell Helicopter has led the formation of Team Valor, a group of preeminent aerospace companies bringing the best engineering resources and industrial capabilities to meet the Department of Defense’s anticipated needs.
Speed: 280 KTAS/322 mph/518 km/h
Combat Range: 500-800 NM/575-920 miles/926-1,481 km
Strategically Self-Deployable: 2,100+ NM/2.416.5 miles/3,889 km
High/Hot 6k/95F Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) Performance
Carries crew of four and 14 troops
Useful load of 12,000+ lbs/5,443+ kg
Triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system
Conventional, retractable landing gear
Two 6’ wide large side doors for ease of rapid ingress/egress
Enhanced situational awareness and sensing technologies
Team Valor includes:
Israel Aerospace Industries
TRU Simulation and Training
The Future of Vertical Lift has taken shape, as a full-scale mockup of the Bell V-280 Valor