Aircraft

Maiden flight for Bell V-280 Valor tilt-rotor

Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft makes its maiden flight
Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft makes its maiden flight
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Artist's concept of the V-280 Valor
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Artist's concept of the V-280 Valor
The V-280 Valor is part of program to create a new generation of tilt-rotor aircraft
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The V-280 Valor is part of program to create a new generation of tilt-rotor aircraft
The V-280 Valor flew for the first time at Bell Helicopter's Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas
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The V-280 Valor flew for the first time at Bell Helicopter's Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas
Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft makes its maiden flight
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Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft makes its maiden flight

Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor tilt-rotor aircraft has taken to the skies for the first time. The December 18 flight at the company's Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas comes only a little over two months after the prototype made its first tethered flight at the same location. The aircraft, which is designed to fly twice as fast as conventional helicopters, is being developed as part of the US Department of Defense's Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) initiative to create a new generation of tilt-rotor airframes.

The Valor was developed in partnership with Lockheed Martin, GE, Moog, IAI, TRU Simulation & Training, Astronics, Eaton, GKN Aerospace, Lord, Meggitt, and Spirit AeroSystems. According to Bell, the V-280 is a designed to be lighter, simpler, and less expensive than the V-22 Osprey. The extensive use of composites in honeycomb sandwich configurations with large-cell carbon cores in the fuselage, wing and tail section, allowed engineers to achieve a 30 percent improvement in weight savings despite the integrated cabin armor.

The V-280 Valor is part of program to create a new generation of tilt-rotor aircraft
The V-280 Valor is part of program to create a new generation of tilt-rotor aircraft

Other improvements in the V-280 include moving the engines from the rotor nacelles to the fuselage for a simpler construction that also allows both rotors to run on one engine in an emergency. The Valor carries a crew of two and can manage 14 troops or a payload topping 12,000 lb (5,400 kg). It has a cruising speed of 280 knots (320 mph, 520 km/h), a combat range of up to 800 nm (920 mi, 1,481 km), and can hover out of ground effect (HOGE) at 6,000 ft (1,800 m) at temperatures of 95° F (35° C).

"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 and 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."

The maiden launch can be seen in the video below.

Source: Bell Helicopter

Bell V-280 Valor -- First Flight

6 comments
S Michael
That was flying???
andy.capp
Just curious... you will notice in all the photos and videos that Bell has blurred out the part of the image showing the insides of the nacelles where the pivoting occurs... why? The Bell XV-3 Convertiplane did this same pivot trick in 1955... surely no IP is at risk here... just curious.
PrometheusGoneWild.com
Completly obsolete. Add Li-On batteries and electric motors and any fixed wing aircraft can be VTOL.... See VTOL Shadow drone.....
fb36
My guess is all kinds of helicopters will be electric motor quadcopters/octocopters in the (near) future. (Because they have many significant advantages against normal helicopters of any kind.)
AngryPenguin
@PrometheusGoneWild Am I to assume you only commute in a fully autonomous Tesla?
ted96799
Once the technology matures, please offer for commercial use. More remote communities can be reached which won't require expensive airport runways and infrastructure.