At the U.S. Army Aviation Missions Solution Summit (29-31 March, 2015), Nashville, Tennessee, Bell Helicopter was previewing a technology demonstration of its integrated single screen cockpit concept for the Bell V-280 Valor, reported Andrew Drwiega from Quad-A, Nashville (Military Technology).
It is a futuristic – combining the usual flight symbology that would be expected from a digital display, together with interactive screens showing active Degraded Visual Environment (DVE) information, live video and imagery feeds, onboard weapons status (with interactive selection and firing on-screen) – all with a touch of «Iron Man» conceptualisation thrown in for good measure. Pilots would be able to finger-pass information box data across the screen from one to the other. The system’s data could also be displayed on the front windscreen and/or in the pilot’s visor – or a combination, which could be customisable.
The Bell V-280 Valor full-scale model is also demonstrating a weapons rail that could be deployed from under the wing and, potentially carry Hellfire missiles which could be fired forward without hitting or being affected by the large rotors.
Bell Helicopter has also brought a V-280 simulator to demonstrate at Quad-A. While this concept is just that – a concept – those responsible for the thinking behind it are envisaging taking mission management and situational awareness to a new level.
«The Army Aviation Summit provides us with a great opportunity to engage with current and future Army aviation leadership», said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business at Bell Helicopter. «This unique event gives us the chance for precise, in-depth discussions on what the next generation of tiltrotor can deliver in support of the U.S. Army’s operating concepts and future doctrine». Throughout the show, the Bell V-280 Valor mockup was shown in both attack and utility configurations, demonstrating the aircraft’s versatility and multi-mission capability to attendees. The annual event was held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and convention center and hosted representatives from 22 countries.
The first flight of the next generation tiltrotor is scheduled for the second half of 2017. The Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor will provide unmatched speed, range and payload, along with unmatched agility at the objective. The aircraft will provide the best value in operations and maintenance costs, and is being designed with sustainability, affordability, and ease of manufacturing in mind.
Bell V-280 Valor
With twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters, the Bell V-280 Valor will offer unmatched operational agility to self-deploy and perform a multitude of vertical lift missions unachievable with current aircraft. The V-280 Valor is a combat force multiplier with superior performance, survivability, and reliability to give the warfighter the decisive advantage.
Transformational agility and operational reach:
- twice the speed and twice the range more than doubles operational reach;
- highest productivity and range enables reduced deployed force structure;
- significantly higher fuel efficiency reduces logistical and security footprint;
- covers more than five times the area of current MEDEVAC helicopters.
Speed: 280 KTAS/322 mph/518 km/h
Combat Range: 500-800 NM/926-1,481 km
Strategically Self-Deployable: 2,100+ NM/3,889 km Range
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
Bell V-280 Valor – Future of Vertical Lift Takes Flight