On December 18, 2017, Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announced that its V-280 Valor has achieved first flight. The V-280 Valor is a next-generation tiltrotor that is designed to provide unmatched agility, speed, range and payload capabilities at an affordable cost. This milestone represents exceptional progress on the V-280 development program and brings Bell Helicopter one step closer to creating the next generation of vertical lift aircraft for the U.S. military.
«This is an exciting time for Bell Helicopter, and I could not be more proud of the progress we have made with first flight of the Bell V-280», says Mitch Snyder, President & CEO for Bell Helicopter. «First flight demonstrates our commitment to supporting Department of Defense leadership’s modernization priorities and acquisition reform initiatives. The Valor is designed to revolutionize vertical lift for the U.S. Army and represents a transformational aircraft for all the challenging missions our armed forces are asked to undertake».
«We are thrilled to share in this success of the V-280 first flight with Team Valor», added Snyder. «The V-280 intends to completely transform what is possible for the military when it comes to battle planning and forward operations».
The Bell V-280 Valor program is part of the Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) initiative. The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift program. The V-280 program brings together the engineering resources and industrial capabilities of Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, General Electric (GE), Moog, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), TRU Simulation & Training, Astronics, Eaton, GKN Aerospace, Lord, Meggitt and Spirit AeroSystems – collectively referred to as Team Valor.
The Bell V-280 Valor is postured to provide the U.S. Army with the highest levels of maturity and technical readiness. The aircraft is designed to provide the best value in procurement, operations and support, and force structure, while delivering desired leap-ahead performance capabilities with increased maintainability, reliability and affordability to the Department of Defense (DoD). With twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters, the Valor is designed to offer maneuver commanders unmatched operational agility to self-deploy and perform a multitude of vertical lift missions currently unachievable in one aircraft. The Bell V-280 is a combat force multiplier with superior performance, payload, survivability, and reliability to give the warfighter the decisive advantage.
- Reduced downwash to facilitate fast rope and hoist ops;
- Landing Zone = UH-60/UH-1Y comparable;
- 12˚ slope landings;
- Enhanced situational awareness & sensing in cockpit/cabin;
- More medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) options during the golden hour;
- Pilotage Distributed Aperture Sensor (Degraded Visual Environment enabler);
- Fixed engines maximize cabin ingress/egress clearance.
- 2 × productivity at comparable cost of AH-64E/Spec Ops UH-60;
- Reduced complexity & cost;
- Increased performance & manufacturability;
- Unprecedented variant commonality;
- Reliable, Line-Replaceable Unit (LRU) based, field maintainable aircraft;
- Reduced sustainment costs.
|Speed||280 Knots True AirSpeed (KTAS)/322 mph/518 km/h|
|Combat Range||500-800 NM/575-921 miles/926-1,481 km|
|Strategically Self-Deployable||2,100+ NM/2,417 miles/3,889 km Range|
|Troop Capacity||Crew of 4 and 14 troops|
|Useful Load||12,000+ lbs/5,443+ kg|
|Sling load||10,500 lbs/4,763 kg|
|Situational Awareness||Enhanced situational awareness and sensing technologies|
|Flight Control System||Triple redundant fly-by-wire|
|Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE)||Achieves 6k/95F|
|Ingress/Egress||Two 6′ wide large side doors for ease of rapid ingress/egress|
|Landing Gear||Conventional, retractable landing gear|
Bell Helicopter announced that its V-280 Valor has achieved first flight