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.

Watch: The first flight of what could be the US military's future long-range assault aircraft

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Photo by Jeff Martin ABC31

Featured image of the V-280 Valor by Bell Helicopter

This article is courtesy of Fighter Sweep.