Building on a full year’s worth of testing and more than 85 hours of flight time, Bell’s V-280 Valor reached its namesake cruising speed of 280 knots true airspeed this week.
Purpose-built to conduct long range assault at twice the speed and range of existing medium lift helicopters, the V-280’s technical maturity demonstrates that close collaboration between government and industry can deliver transformational capabilities in a rapid and sustainable process.
Cruising at twice the speed of legacy helicopters, with double the range, really changes the way the U.S. military can enable multi-domain operations. By eliminating forward refueling points alone, leaders can focus on operational goals while minimizing logistical burdens.
Additionally, Bell’s digital design and design-as-built methodology for the V-280 focused on creating a sustainable and affordable aircraft. The team took great care to simplify designs and advance technology readiness to inform requirements for FVL CS3.
- Forward flight at 280 knots true airspeed
- Over 85 hours of flight and more than 180 rotor turn hours
- In-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical takeoff and landing
- 45-degree banked turns at 200 knots indicated airspeed
- 4500 feet per minute rate of climb and sustained flight at 11,500 feet altitude
- Single flight ferry of over 370 miles
- Demonstrated low and high-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls
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