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Bell and Leonardo to cooperate on tiltrotor technology

29th February 2024 - 11:51 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Bell’s tiltrotor portfolio boasts the V-22 Osprey and FLRAA winner V-280 Valor. (Photo: Bell)

The partnership between Leonardo and Bell has signalled a step towards advancing next-generation rotorcraft capabilities as the two company's embark on NATO’s Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) Concept Study.

Bell and Leonardo have signed an MoU to evaluate cooperation opportunities in the tiltrotor technology domain.

The collaborative effort will kick off in full swing with NATO's Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC) Concept Study #5. Leonardo will spearhead the tiltrotor architecture proposal with support from Bell, the partners said.

“This cooperative effort between Bell and Leonardo reflects our shared vision that next-generation rotorcraft will be influenced by the speed, range and manoeuvrability only tiltrotor technology can deliver,” said Lisa Atherton, president and CEO of Bell. “We are proud to deepen our relationship with Leonardo as we continue to explore emerging vertical lift programmes in Europe and the US.”

Gian Piero Cutillo, MD of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “We’re thrilled to evaluate new joint efforts for the next-generation of rotorcraft technologies, based on our solid and shared view of the unique advantages of tiltrotors. Leonardo has always firmly endorsed tiltrotor technologies to meet evolving rotorcraft requirements, even more so as new needs emerge in the market.”

Bell’s tiltrotor portfolio boasts the V-22 Osprey – built in collaboration with Boeing – and it has also participated in the US Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition with its V-280 Valor. Meanwhile, Leonardo has developed a demonstrator design for a civil tiltrotor aircraft called the AW609.

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