Is the Bell V-280 Valor the future choice of the of US military instead of traditional helicopters? At twice the speed and twice the range, Bell Helicopter is pitching their new V-280 Valor to US military services.
Bell Helicopter’s newest tilt-rotor is almost ready for its first flight. The company said it expects the V-280 Valor prototype to have its first flight in September.
Unlike the V-22 tilt-rotor that is also manufactured in Amarillo, the V-280 is much smaller and allows passengers to exit from side doors instead of the back door on the V-22. Another critical difference is how the V-280 transitions from vertical to horizontal flight as only its gearboxes rotate on the aircraft. On the V-22, the entire engine rotates.
“We’re taking all the lessons learned [from the V-22] and [moving them] into the V-280,” Bell’s chief executive Mitch Snyder told reporters during a media session last week. – Star Telegram
The Valor can fly at 280 KTAS and has a combat range of 500 to 800 nautical miles carrying a crew of four and up to 14 troops.
Featured image of the V-280 Valor by Bell Helicopter