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