Bell Helicopter has signed agreements with a series of companies for the production of components for its V-280 Valor helicopter, which is competing for the US Army’s joint, multi-role demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme contract.
The Textron subsidiary has signed an agreement with Astronics Advanced Electric Systems and Meggitt, for the production of power distribution systems and fuel systems, respectively.
In addition, an agreement has also been reached with power management company Eaton for the provision of hydraulic systems for the third generation tiltrotor aircraft.
Astronics product line vice-president Kellsey Justus said: "Building on our successful work on the Bell 525 and 505 programmes, Astronics will be providing the primary and secondary electrical power distribution system for the V-280 tiltrotor."
Bell Helicopter president and CEO John Garrison said: "Team Valor continues to align interests and resources on this clean sheet design, together delivering technology and innovation that reduces cost, weight and complexity, in order to make the next generation of tiltrotor technology more affordable."
Developed with an army-centric design, the V-280 Valor reportedly provides combatant commanders with an ability to conduct multiple vertical lift missions with enhanced agility, at twice the speed and range of other conventional helicopters.
The helicopter has fewer parts compared with previous generation tiltrotors, and is expected to perform its first test flight in 2017.
Other competitors selected for the JMR programme include AVX Aircraft, Karem Aircraft and the Sikorsky Aircraft-Boeing team.
Image: Bell Helicopter and Astronics officials with a Bell V-280 model at the 2014 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit. Photo: Copyright ©2014 Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.