Aircraft

V-280 Valor masters slow hover to meet Army handling requirements

The V-280 Valor has passed its latest series of low-speed agility tests
The V-280 Valor has passed its latest series of low-speed agility tests
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Rendering of the V-280 Valor in rescue operations
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Rendering of the V-280 Valor in rescue operations
The V-280 Valor operated at a sustained altitude of 11,500 ft (3,510 m)
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The V-280 Valor operated at a sustained altitude of 11,500 ft (3,510 m)
The V-280 Valor in hover tests
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The V-280 Valor in hover tests
Rendering of the V-280 Valor 
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Rendering of the V-280 Valor 
The V-280 Valor rolling out
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The V-280 Valor rolling out
The V-280 Valor with rotors up
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The V-280 Valor with rotors up
The V-280 Valor on its testbed
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The V-280 Valor on its testbed
The V-280 Valor was tested at various altitudes
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The V-280 Valor was tested at various altitudes
The Valor reached a forward speed of over 300 knots
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The Valor reached a forward speed of over 300 knots
The V-280 Valor has passed its latest series of low-speed agility tests
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The V-280 Valor has passed its latest series of low-speed agility tests

The Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft has completed a milestone hover and low-speed agility key performance parameter (KPP) test. Part of the US Army-led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program, the test flights were reportedly completed ahead of schedule and show that the Valor meets the Army's high performance requirements.

The recent tests involved putting the Valor through a series of pitch, roll, and raw maneuvers at various altitudes to determine if the rotorcraft meets the Army Level 1 Handling Qualities requirements. In addition, the craft demonstrated that its has the required operational effectiveness thanks to its digital controls that reduce pilot workload, its high-degree of agility, and all-weather and low visibility performance.

According to Bell, the V-280 Valor reached a forward flight speed of over 300 knots (345 mph/556 km/h), achieved over 110 flight hours and 225 rotor-turn hours, managed banked turns of over 50 degrees, set a rate of climb of 4,500 ft/min (1,372 m/min), operated at a sustained altitude of 11,500 ft (3,510 m), did a single-flight ferry of over 370 mi (595 km), and made in-flight transitions from vertical takeoff and landing to cruise mode and back again.

The Valor reached a forward speed of over 300 knots
The Valor reached a forward speed of over 300 knots

With the JMR TD test period coming to an end, Bell and Team Valor plan to continue pushing the flight envelope and demonstrating new capabilities for the Valor in the Future Vertical Lift programs.

"This latest flight milestone proves that the V-280 Valor tiltrotor delivers first-rate handling for pilots during low-speed maneuvers without sacrificing speed, range or payload that the military needs for multi-domain operations," says Ryan Ehinger, V-280 program manager at Bell. "Bell and Team Valor continue to prove that the Army-led JMR TD program has been successful in rapidly maturing new technologies to support accelerated acquisition of the [Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft]."

The video below shows the V-280 Valor being put through its paces.

Source: Bell

Bell V-280 Valor -- Low-Speed Agility

6 comments
Howe
Love this aircraft, she has a long bright future ahead of her.
VincentWolf
In about 20 years they will all be electric with battery density 10 times what it is today making that possible. Top speed will approach 400 mph the maximum turbo prop speeds possible because of more HP and torque than can be generated by fossil fueled planes/helicopters.
guzmanchinky
Amazing technology. So much safer than current helicopter designs for people on the ground. Reminds me of one of the episodes of "Love Death and Robots" called "Lucky 13"... :)
Towerman
Not if battery technology keeps getting stalled to 10 years per new advancement, so much being held back, so much potential being deliberately stalled
bwana4swahili
Yup, sure going to work well if one of those rotors/engines gets damaged! I'll stick with a helicopter; you might survive if the engine quits!
ljaques
(I believe you meant "pitch, roll, and yaw", David.) Nicely agile for a large craft like that. That kind of quickness can save lives when dropping Rangers/Seals in the field. Bell always has made nice birds.