H-60 Replacement Tilt-rotor Prototype

Bell’s V-280 prototype

The Aviationist brings us pictures of the first prototype for the V-280, one of two contenders for the Army’s “Future Vertical Lift” program to replace the H-60 and other helicopters. We have discussed this program previously as a potential replacement for Coast Guard MH-60s, here (2015) and here (2013).

The competing Sikorsky-Boeing-made SB-1 Defiant coaxial helicopter is expected to fly in 2018.

The V-280’s characteristics reportedly include:

  • Speed: 280 KTAS cruise speed
  • Combat range: 500-800nm
  • Strategically Self-Deployable – 2100nm Range
  • Achieves 6k/95 (hover out of ground effect at full load, at 6,000 feet/95 degrees F)
  • 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


8 thoughts on “H-60 Replacement Tilt-rotor Prototype

      • Actually the S-97 prototype was flying back in 2015. Here is a video of it flying earlier this year. This plane is about the size of the MH-65 and from that I understand, they are working on a MH-60 size version now.

      • That is a proof of concept, and maybe something that might morph into an H-65 replacement, but the prototype I was referring to was the H-60 sized craft now expected to fly in 2018, also not that far away.

    • That depends on whether the Navy buys it. If they do, presumably they will make it foldable like they have the V-22. That seems a good possibility as they will ultimately replace their H-60s, but the timing may not work for us.

      We seldom try to hangar or deploy with H-60s and at some point we will need to replace H-65s as well.

      • The OPCs and NSCs should deploy with H-60s. Seems silly to me to keep them essentially tethered to shore bases.

    • The wing would have to swivel, much like the Osprey. And the engine nacelle would have to be positioned forward instead of up. Otherwise may need taller hangars.

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