Aircraft

Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor revs to full power

Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor rev...
The V-280 Valor reached full RPMs during a tethered ground test
The V-280 Valor reached full RPMs during a tethered ground test
View 7 Images
Artist's concept of V-280
1/7
Artist's concept of V-280
Artist's concept of the V-280 in disaster response operations
2/7
Artist's concept of the V-280 in disaster response operations
Construction was recently completed on the V-280 prototype
3/7
Construction was recently completed on the V-280 prototype
Bell Helicopter's V-280 rolling out
4/7
Bell Helicopter's V-280 rolling out
The V-280 makes extensive use of composites
5/7
The V-280 makes extensive use of composites
The V-280 on the ground test platform
6/7
The V-280 on the ground test platform
The V-280 Valor reached full RPMs during a tethered ground test
7/7
The V-280 Valor reached full RPMs during a tethered ground test
View gallery - 7 images

Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor has reached 100 percent rotor RPMs during a tethered ground run test at the Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center. Construction was recently completed on the tiltrotor prototype, which is capable of reaching twice the speed and range of present helicopters, and system and flight control tests are now being run in the lead up to its first flight later this year.

Originally developed as part of the JMR-TD phase of the US Army's Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, the V-280 is a next-generation tiltrotor aircraft designed to be lighter, simpler, and less expensive than the V-22 Osprey. Weight savings are achieved through the extensive use of composites in the fuselage, wing and tail, in the form of honeycomb sandwich configurations with large-cell carbon cores. This results in a 30 percent savings even with the integrated cabin armor.

The V-280 design also sees the engines moved away from the rotor nacelles for a simpler construction that allows both rotors to run on one engine in the event of an emergency. The Valor can carry a crew of two with 14 troops, has a cruising speed of 280 knots (320 mph; 520 km/h), combat range of up to 800 nm (920 mi, 1,481 km), and a total payload capacity of 12,000 lb (5,400 kg). It also has improved hover capability, topping at 6,000 ft (1,800 m) at 95º F (35 Cº).

Bell Helicopter's V-280 rolling out
Bell Helicopter's V-280 rolling out

The aircraft has triple redundant fly-by-wire flight controls and enhanced situational awareness and sensing capabilities that digitally fuse reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence, and friendly force information. In addition, it has two wide side doors for fast ingress and egress and a conventional retractable undercarriage.

The video below shows the V-280 Valor revving up.

Source: Bell Helicopter

Bell V-280 Valor -- Rotors Ground Run

View gallery - 7 images
4 comments
Kpar
OK, it's supposed to be cheaper, lighter, and simpler than the V-22. How does its performance stack up vs the Osprey in terms of range, speed, and payload?
toddzrx
Important detail left out: the V-280 is lighter and less expensive mainly because it's SMALLER, being designed with a much lighter gross weight and therefore lighter cargo loads than the V-22. Max gross for the 280 is around 30,000 pounds while the V-22 is about twice that. As for complexity, that's more to do with a lot of lessons learned from the V-22.
MQ
To my eye, the basic mechanics appears more complicated than the V-22 (which also has mechanical "cross-linking" between rotors,I believe).
To allow the rotors to tilt while maintaining the engine nacelles in fixed orientation appears to add additional complication.
So does this craft have demonstrated (or even theoretical) safe autorotation / glide characteristics??
CommanderKlassen
What I don't understand is the article said there was a way for one engine to run both propellers, does that mean there is a "drive shaft" spanning the entire wing? IMHO, the smartest way to do a tilt rotor aircraft is using electrics. Giant high output electric motors. Have a couple of turbines in the fuselage area with massive generators and run two lines, main power, and rotor control. The latter could be performed by multiplexing the signals, and the former would be a 8awg x3 for the motor, maybe duplicated for redundancy. By using turboprop style nacelles, they have to run electrics, fuel, hydraulics,and now with this shared power design some form of mechanical rotary power. All of those systems massively complecates the design.