April 10, 2013 Bell Helicopter introduced the V-280 “Valor” tilt-rotor at the 2013 Army Aviation Association of America’s (AAAA) Annual Professional Forum and Exposition.
This is only the latest entry in the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Program, “A collaborative effort involving a number of parties, including Special Operations Command (SOCOM), the U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Vertical Lift Consortium (VLC), FVL will design, develop and deliver the next generation of DoD vertical lift aircraft, according to Lt. Col. David Bristol, U.S. Army Aviation PEO for Future Vertical Lift activities.”
The program is meant to develop a replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, and CH-47 Chinook.
“The Bell V-280 Valor’s Army-centric design boasts a number of unmatched capabilities and transformational features including:
- Speed: 280 KTAS cruise speed
- Combat range: 500-800nm
- Strategically Self-Deployable – 2100nm Range
- Achieves 6k/95
- Non-rotating, fixed engines
- Triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system
- Conventional, retractable landing gear
- Two 6′ wide large side doors for ease of ingress/egress
- Suitable down wash
- Significantly smaller logistical footprint compared to other aircraft”
“The Bell V-280’s clean sheet design reduces complexity compared to previous generation tiltrotors, with fewer parts, as well as non-rotating, fixed engines.”
Hopefully some day we may be able to fulfill the medium range search requirement with the same aircraft that provides the long range rescue capability, and this replacement for the H-60 will have twice the range and almost twice the speed of its predecessor.