Bell joins fuselage and wings of V-280 Valor for US Army

9 May 2016 (Last Updated May 9th, 2016 18:30)

Bell Helicopter has joined the fuselage to the wings and nacelles of the V-280 joint multi role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) aircraft.

V280

Bell Helicopter has joined the fuselage to the wings and nacelles of the V-280 joint multi role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) aircraft.

The company is developing the V-280 Valor for the US Army's future vertical lift (FVL) programme, in collaboration with Lockheed Martin.

The V-280 Valor employs tiltrotor technology, which converts vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities into a tactical, operational and strategic advantage.

The tiltrotor can rapidly self-deploy to any environment and covers more than five times the area of current medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) platforms.

Bell claims the application has been designed to provide unmatched agility, speed, range and payload capabilities.

This aircraft has an anticipated cruise speed of 280KTAS and a 500nm-800nm combat range, and is operated by 11 to 14 personnel.

It provides the low-speed hover agility of a helicopter with fixed-wing range and efficiencies.

"The V-280 wing, nacelles and fuselage are now assembled into the aircraft we've designed as the-next generation tiltrotor."

Bell Helicopter military business development executive vice-president Lisa Atherton said: "The V-280 wing, nacelles and fuselage are now assembled into the aircraft we've designed as the-next generation tiltrotor.

"The attention to detail from our employees, our suppliers and from all of Team Valor, today and throughout this entire process, has been astounding.

"Their efforts have resulted in an aircraft that is coming together quickly and according to schedule."

The company will conduct the aircraft's first flight in September 2017.

Data collected from the flight test will help Bell to enter the full-scale engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) phase.


Image: The Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor at the Bell Helicopter aircraft assembly centre in Amarillo, Texas. Photo: courtesy of Bell Helicopter Textron