New photos emerged Wednesday of a new prototype of Bell’s advanced tilt-rotor aircraft prototype.
The first prototype of V-280 Valor aircraft was spotted at Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center. The Aviationist editor David Cenciotti reported.
According to the Aviationist, the V-280 Valor is Bell’s submission for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) phase, the technology demonstration precursor to Future Vertical Lift (FVL), a replacement for the service’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.
The V-280 will have a crew of 4 (including two pilots) and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops. Its cruising speed will be 280 knots (hence the designation V-280) and its top speed will be 300 kts. It’s designed for a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi although the Army’s requirements for the demonstrator call for hot and high hover performance (at 6,000 feet and 95 F), and the ability to self-deploy 2,100 nautical miles at a speed of at least 230 knots.
The Bell V-280 Valor design supports ground maneuver and is purpose built for the squad plus enablers. Safe and survivable, the design features integrated cabin armor, fly-by-wire component redundancy, state of the art countermeasures and performance. Bell Helicopter’s design to build technology used on the V-280 Valor significantly enhances manufacturing, assembly, and sustainability, while greatly reducing the total cost of ownership.
Advanced tiltrotor speed and range provides commanders access not currently available. With more than twice the speed and range of current helicopter platforms, the Bell V-280 Valor provides access to get to the objective while providing superior agility at the objective.
Team Valor’s mission equipment package enables enroute situational understanding through digitally fused reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence and friendly force information. Airborne battle boards bring fused data and mission updates to the cabin for real-time tracking. The V-280 will provide technology overmatch at an affordable price point.
The U.S. Army plans to field distinct platforms: a utility helicopter and an attack helicopter. For this reason, a variant, dubbed AV-280, is expected to carry rocket, missiles and also small UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) forward or aft with no rotor interference.