V-280 Valor achieves 280kt cruise speed
Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor achieved a cruise speed of 280kt on 23 January at the company’s Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas, following a year of flight testing.
Bell is developing the V-280 Valor for the US Army-led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme. As the programme moves into 2019, V-280 flight testing will continue to expand the aircraft's flight envelope, prove performance parameters and reduce Future of Vertical Lift risk in the JMR-TD programme. The next stages will focus on further low-speed agility manoeuvres, angles of bank and autonomous flight.
To date, the V-280 Valor has achieved over 85 hours of flight and more than of 180 rotor turn hours. It has also demonstrated in-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical take-off and landing; 45-degree banked turns at 200kt indicated airspeed; 4500ft per minute rate of climb and sustained flight at 11,500ft altitude; single flight ferry of over 370 miles; and low and high-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls.
Ryan Ehinger, V-280 program manager at Bell, said: ‘Cruising at twice the speed of legacy helicopters, with double the range, really changes the way the US military can enable multi-domain operations. By eliminating forward refuelling points alone, leaders can focus on operational goals while minimising logistical burdens.’
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