A lot can happen in a year – just ask the Bell V-280 team. Building on a full year’s worth of testing and more than 85 hours of flight time, the V-280 Valor, powered by GE T64 turboshaft engines, reached its namesake cruising speed of 280 knots true airspeed in January.
The V-280 Valor is a next-generation tiltrotor that is designed to provide a vertical-lift aircraft for the U.S. military demonstrating unmatched sustainability, agility, speed, range and payload capabilities at an affordable cost.
GE Aviation is teaming with Bell to provide logistical, engineering, integration, and onsite flight test support of the Valor’s T64-419 engines. GE Aviation remains committed to supporting the Bell test plan through the end of the Technical Demonstration phase.
“This is a unique opportunity for us to partner on a technology initiative and for our proven T64 engine to expand its horizons,” said GE’s Linda Smith, Director of T408 & T64 Programs. “A big shout-out to our engineering team – Lisa DiBello, Joe DiBella and Brian Coppinger – who is working closely with Team Valor to ensure progress.”
Bell and Team Valor continue to methodically and very successfully expand the flight envelope. The aircraft continues to prove its performance is well beyond legacy rotorcraft and will deliver revolutionary capability for warfighters as part of the Future of Vertical Lift (FVL) program.
“It is a remarkable achievement to hit this airspeed for the V-280 Valor in just over a year of flight testing. Beyond the exemplary speed and agility of this aircraft, this significant milestone is yet another proof point that the V-280 is mature technology,” said Keith Flail, vice president of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell.
As the program evolves, V-280 flight testing will continue to prove out Bell’s key performance parameters and reduce FVL risk in the U.S. Army led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program. The next stages will expand the performance envelope highlighting further low-speed agility maneuvers, angles of bank and autonomous flight.