AUSA: Bell Helicopter is moving right along with its new V-280 Valor, a tiltrotor being built under the Army-led, multiservice Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The V-280 – which flies at 280 knots cruising speed — resembles the bigger V-22 Osprey built by Bell and Boeing for the Marine Corps, Air Force Special Operations Command and the Navy. But the Valor is smaller, sized to replace the Army’s workhorse UH-60 Black Hawk with an aircraft that offers twice the speed and multiples of the helicopter’s range. (Bell’s rivals, Sikorsky and Boeing, are touting their SB>1 Defiant across the aisle: Click here for video).
As Breaking Defense recently reported, Bell is now doing ground tests of the V-280’s rotors and drive train in Amarillo, Texas, and plans to fly it later this year. With video of those tests running in a loop on a big screen overhead at Bell’s booth at AUSA and a full-size mockup of the V-280 in front of them, BD contributor Richard Whittle talked to Steve Mathias, Bell vice president for global business development, about how the company incorporated lessons learned from the V-22 in its design of the V-280 Valor.