Aircraft

Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor hits namesake 280 knots for the first time

Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor hit...
The Bell V-280 tiltrotor reached a true airspeed of 280 knots in a test flight this week
The Bell V-280 tiltrotor reached a true airspeed of 280 knots in a test flight this week
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The Bell V-280 tiltrotor can carry 14 troops
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The Bell V-280 tiltrotor can carry 14 troops
The Bell V-280 tiltrotor reached a true airspeed of 280 knots in a test flight this week
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The Bell V-280 tiltrotor reached a true airspeed of 280 knots in a test flight this week

Bell's V-280 Valor tiltrotor combat aircraft lived up to its name on Wednesday as it pegged the speedometer at a true airspeed of 280 knots (322 mph, 518 km/h), or twice that of conventional rotorcraft. The flight took place at the company's Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas after the completion of over 85 flight hours and 180 rotor-turn hours during a year of testing.

Developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Moog, IAI, TRU Simulation & Training, Astronics, Eaton, GKN Aerospace, Lord, Meggitt, and Spirit AeroSystems, the Valor is intended to be a lighter, simpler, and less expensive advance on the V-22 Osprey. Through the use of composites in honeycomb sandwich configurations with large-cell carbon cores in the fuselage, wing, and tail section, the Valor boasts a 30 percent weight savings over that aircraft despite its armor.

According to Bell, the Valor with its crew of two and payload of 14 troops, or the equivalent weight, can fly at twice the speed of current medium-lift helicopters. It also has double the range, allowing it to forego forward in-air refueling points to simplify design and logistics.

The Bell V-280 tiltrotor can carry 14 troops
The Bell V-280 tiltrotor can carry 14 troops

So far, the Valor has progressed in testing though captive rotor flights, hover tests, in-flight transition from vertical to cruise flight mode and back, conducted 45-degree banks at 200 knots (230 mph, 370 km/h), reached ascent speeds of 4,500 ft (1,372 m) per minute, sustained flight at 11,500 ft (3,505 m), conducted a ferry flight of 370 mi (595 km), and shown low and high-speed agility using fly-by-wire controls.

When it is fully operational, the Valor will have a combat range of up to 800 nm (920 mi, 1,481 km), and the capability to hover with out-of-ground effect (HOGE) at 6,000 ft (1,800 m) at temperatures of 95° F (35° C).

The Bell team is currently working on improving performance in low-speed agility maneuvers, angles of banking, and in autonomous flight.

The video below shows off the V-280 Valor's capabilities.

Source: Bell

Bell V-280 Valor -- Future of Vertical Lift Takes Flight - Short Version

9 comments
Howe
Awesome, love this aircraft, really hope it beats out the Boeing SB-1 for that fat contract.
guzmanchinky
That is an amazing machine. How does it compare to the new helicopter that has the dual rotors and the prop at the back?
bql
dornier do 31 is superior to this thing in every way and was made in 60s
Getsmart
Unsafe as v22 is also. Big names don't equal smartbettertilting ducted fans do MUCH better. Get Smarttax wasters.
ljaques
The SB-1 Defiant looks like it wants to be a submarine with that tail rotor. LOL. The Valor is a beautiful bird. Let's hope she's as sturdy as we need her to be for our militaries. The speed is fantastic and should save a lot of lives during rescues, etc.
nick101
I've been using these for YEARS in videogames, can't say enough about them!
Paulinator
The video-game graphics reveal yet another machine designed to pump money up from the middle class to the MIC in endless, destructive war.
Leonard Foster Jr
At least they have a hard point for a forward firing gun. And to the duct fan comment they don't have the range and cant be sound suppressed like large rotors
Towerman
These concepts and huge propellers are outdated they will be replaced by more efficient electric VTOL's