Military Aviation

FOOTAGE SHOWS BELL V-280 VALOR TILTROTOR “TURNING” ITS ROTORS FOR THE FIRST TIME

The V-280 Valor will undergo a series of functional tests running all aircraft systems and flight controls in preparation for first flight this fall

The interesting video in this post features Bell V-280 Valor prototype aircraft beginning its restrained ground run test operations. The aircraft will continue ground run testing at the Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center where it will undergo a series of functional tests running all aircraft systems and flight controls in preparation for first flight this fall.

The V-280 Valor is a third-generation tiltrotor aircraft being developed by Bell Helicopter for the U.S. Army‘s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program.

The V-280 is a clean sheet next-generation tiltrotor – applying lessons learned from nearly six decades of tiltrotor expertise to create groundbreaking simplicity and deliver transformational, affordable technology to alter the course of vertical flight.

Safe and survivable, the design features integrated cabin armor, fly-by-wire component redundancy, state of the art countermeasures and performance. Advanced tiltrotor speed and range provides commanders access not currently available. With more than twice the speed and range of current helicopter platforms, the V-280 provides access to get to the objective while providing superior agility at the objective. Airborne battle boards bring fused data and mission updates to the cabin for real-time tracking.

Special emphasis has been placed on reducing the weight of the V-280 in comparison to the V-22, which in turn would reduce cost. To do this, composites are used extensively in the wing, fuselage, and tail. Wing skins and ribs are made of a honeycomb-stiffened “sandwich” construction with large-cell carbon cores for fewer, larger, and lighter parts. Skins and ribs are paste-bonded together to eliminate fasteners. With these measures, costs are reduced by over 30 percent compared to a scaled V-22 wing. Bell expects the V-280 to cost around the same as a AH-64E or MH-60M. While the Osprey has a higher disk loading and lower hover efficiency than a helicopter, the V-280 will have a lower disk loading and longer wing for greater hover and cruise efficiency.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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