Bell V-280 Valor

Helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft
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aaam

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Unread post19 Apr 2019, 07:50

V-280 has now exceeded 300 knots as well.

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/04/300 ... ilestones/
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Unread post01 May 2019, 22:25

Just what rotary a/c need.

https://youtu.be/NmOqf6t9EoQ
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Unread post21 May 2019, 14:15

V-280 Passes Key Agility Test: Bell

Critics have argued the tiltrotor aircraft could never be as nimble at low speed and low altitude as a helicopter. Bell says it's proven them wrong

WASHINGTON: Bell says it’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor has met the Army’s requirement for low-speed, low-altitude agility, at least equaling the UH-60 Black Hawk it’s contending to replace. That’s the last major objective Bell set for itself in its test program, which is a year ahead of its archrival for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft contract, the Sikorsy-Boeing SB>1 Defiant...

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/05/fvl ... r-agility/
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Unread post24 May 2019, 08:09

zerion wrote:
V-280 Passes Key Agility Test: Bell

Critics have argued the tiltrotor aircraft could never be as nimble at low speed and low altitude as a helicopter. Bell says it's proven them wrong

WASHINGTON: Bell says it’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor has met the Army’s requirement for low-speed, low-altitude agility, at least equaling the UH-60 Black Hawk it’s contending to replace. That’s the last major objective Bell set for itself in its test program, which is a year ahead of its archrival for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft contract, the Sikorsy-Boeing SB>1 Defiant...

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/05/fvl ... r-agility/


The article better clarifies what they mean...

Army standard. “ADS-33 Level 1 performance assesses both the responsiveness of the aircraft and the pilot’s workload in flying the aircraft,” Paul Wilson said in an email. “For the V-280 … the aircraft is designed with the control power required for Level 1 responsiveness. Reduced pilot workload is achieved through flight control augmentation taking advantage of the fly-by-wire system. The V-280’s Level 1 agility demonstrated in flight test is equal to or better than the UH-60.”

In layman’s terms, “Level One Handling Qualities” means the aircraft meets the Army’s official Aeronautical Design Standard (ADS-33) for how well it responds to the pilot in fine-grained, low-altitude maneuvers: decelerating to a stationary hover, turning to a precise heading, maintaining a specific altitude and orientation, and so on. It’s assessed by having test pilots put the aircraft through the prescribed maneuvers and rate how hard they had to work to make the aircraft perform.
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So this milestone doesn’t mean that the V-280 Valor is necessarily more (or less) agile than the SB>1 Defiant, since SB>1 — or rather the refined model Sikorsky and Boeing built for the FLRAA fly-off in a few years — will have to achieve Level One as well.
+++
“but it shouldn’t be looked at as something that is better than the Defiant, which will presumably also have Level 1 handling qualities.”

“Comparing the Defiant and Valor would require looking at 60-plus metrics to see which aircraft is better for which parameters, and then for someone to make a value judgment on which ones are most important,” Hirschberg explained. But these are demonstrators and not operational aircraft, so each will have different engines, weights, moments of inertia, etc. for the final product” — which means that detailed comparison will probably be somewhat different for the full-up FLRAA prototypes than it would be for the current JMR demo aircraft.


So really it means that it has good handling and responsive characteristics.

It looks like the SB-1's little brother (S-97) meets this as well


At any rate I think the US military will pick both designs for different applications.
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zerion

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Unread post21 Dec 2019, 02:27

Bell provides V-280 Valor flight test details

U.S. helicopters maker Bell released more details about its revolutionary tiltrotor, called the V-280 Valor. The aircraft has flown more than 150 hours through multi-sortie test days and numerous public demonstrations to deliver data and inform requirements for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.

“The V-280 and flight test program teams’ performances have gone above and beyond expectation,” said Keith Flail, vice president of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “Our team of defense-aerospace technology and manufacturing experts demonstrated the ability to deliver a high-performance aircraft on schedule that will revolutionize U.S. military vertical lift capability. We are very proud of this track record and look forward to competing for the U.S. Army FLRAA program.”

In 2019 alone, Team Valor and the V-280 program team have delivered performance milestones beyond expectations. 2019 milestones include:

Speed > 300 kts;
Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) > 6,000 feet altitude at 95º F;
Low speed agility to meet the Army’s Level 1 Handling Qualities requirements;
Executed numerous, consecutive multi-sortie days of flight operations;
Test flights with Army pilots.

Flight testing did not simply focus on demonstrating engineering maneuvers. The team understands the V-280 must be suitable for use in multi-domain operations as well. To that end, the V-280 has integrated the Lockheed Martin Pilotage Distributed Aperture System (PDAS) mission equipment package and has flown operationally focused tests showing fast rope deployment options. Looking forward, testing will include additional mission equipment package integration, sling load tests and a demonstration of autonomous flight.

Unprecedented flight performance is only part of the equation for FLRAA to be a successful program. Bell continues to analyze and test options to improve future fleet affordability and sustainment lifecycle cost. The team has undertaken initiatives to address cost-drivers inherent in operational aircraft by employing the latest digital technologies to optimize affordability throughout the fleet’s lifecycle.

https://defence-blog.com/army/bell-prov ... tails.html
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Unread post17 Dec 2020, 18:30

Bell’s V-280 Valor hits 200 hours of flight time 3 years after first flight

WASHINGTON — Bell’s technology demonstrator designed to show the Army the realm of the possible in Future Vertical Lift capability has flown 200 hours since its first flight three years ago, according to Keith Flail, the company’s executive vice president for advanced vertical lift systems.

The V-280 Valor tiltrotor parted ways with the tarmac for the first time on Dec. 18, 2017, at 1:59 p.m. CDT at a Bell facility in Amarillo, Texas. Defense News reported the flight as the aircraft was still in the air, but the aircraft logged roughly 15 to 20 minutes before returning to solid ground.

Since then Bell’s clean-sheet-designed aircraft has flown more than 150 sorties, Flail told Defense News in a recent interview, and the extensive effort has driven down risk for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program for the U.S. Army.

Valor hit the 200 flight hour mark on Dec. 4, Flail said...

The aircraft had its first public flight in June 2018 where it reached cruising speeds of 195 knots and was put through its paces in hover mode.

In May 2019, the aircraft completed low-speed agility maneuver testing — which made up the final key performance parameters left to prove out with the system as part of the technology demonstration phase.

Valor flew autonomously for the first time a year ago. The aircraft performed an autonomous takeoff, conversion into cruise mode, precision navigation to various waypoints, loiter maneuvers, conversion into vertical-takeoff-and-landing mode, and landed autonomously.

Other achievements include demonstrating an integrated system from Lockheed Martin that provides the pilots and aircrew a 360-degree view through the skin of the aircraft in the spring of 2019.

And in early 2020, Bell also integrated the Tactical Common Data Link and transmitted information between Valor and the ground station to include basic flight data and showed it would be able to provide targeting information to help long-range precision fires weapons hit targets more accurately, according to a Dec. 17 company statement.

In the same flight, Bell demonstrated sling-load capability, Flail said. “During a single sortie, the team performed multiple cargo lifts to demonstrate the procedure and coordination of ground crew, aircraft, crew chief, pilots and the behavior of the loads for the V-280,” the statement notes.

Over the course of the technology demonstration period, Flail added, the aircraft was also able to show its reliability and availability.

“This configuration of tiltrotor really shows how robust it is in terms of reliability and availability because one of the tricks with proving that is you have to accumulate enough data to show that you do have a reliable system,” he said. “A lot of your critical items, your gearboxes and your blades … those are typical cost drivers downstream and today, we still have the original six blades and gearboxes on this aircraft.”

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2020/1 ... st-flight/
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Unread post06 Dec 2022, 00:13

Bell Textron’s Valor wins Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft competition to replace Black Hawk

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/12/bel ... Ig1Ym2VVZA
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Unread post06 Dec 2022, 17:22

Saw this coming. I predicted Bell will get the FLRAA contract. Now we'll see if my Nostradamus skills were good enough to fulfill the next half of my prediction and the FARA will go to Sikorsky.

I hope the US Army keeps with the tradition of naming their rotary-winged aircraft after Native American tribes/nations.
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Unread post09 Dec 2022, 22:02



My only real grip for the V-280 is its relative size compared to the Blackhawk. If I remember correctly one of the requirements is to have the same or comparable operational foot print of the Blackhawk.

Image

Its width is as long as the Super Stallion's length...
Image
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Unread post09 Dec 2022, 23:19

That looks close enough for me. If they wanted to make it smaller, it was going to have to compromise in another area. Namely payload.
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Unread post16 Dec 2022, 05:32

For the record, the requirement was to have the same operational footprint as UH-60, not the same size. Part of the operational footprint is determined by how many vehicles can operate from a field of a specified size relative to the UH-60.
charlielima223's post has an illustration, which I am stealing, which shows this.

v-280uh60relszebig.png





Tilt-Rotors are wider than comparable helicopters, but shorter because they don't have to allow for tail rotors and the proprotors do not extend beyond the nose of the aircraft
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Unread post31 Dec 2022, 11:01

This was bound to happen...

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/12/sik ... l-textron/
Given the money involved, a bid protest wasn’t unexpected. Following the award announcement, Douglas Bush, the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, told reporters on Dec. 5 that the service’s FLRAA schedule already has “accounted” for a protest.

GAO has up to 100 days to rule in a bid protest, but the congressional watchdog agency strives to resolve cases as quickly as possible.

Some analysts believe the choice of Bell’s tiltrotor-based Valor over Sikorsky-Boeing’s coaxial rotor Defiant X could also shape the technological direction of the Army’s upcoming Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition. FARA is the potential replacement for the retired OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. For that competition, Bell’s 360 Invictus is up against Sikorsky’s Raider X.


I think Sikorsky should let this go and focus on their FARA submission. Another thing came to mind about the FLRAA is how it will work with FARA. I am inclined to believe that the FARA though intending to be the successor for the OH-58 is also going to eventually replace the AH-64. It is not uncommon in certain operations (or whenever possible) for troop transport assets to have armed escort. In Afghanistan Chinooks had to routinely slow down so they wont leave their Apache escorts behind. Bells FARA submission even with the ITEP just barely reaches the desired speed and cruise requirements. Sikorsky's S-97 prototype already reached those desired requirements, their Raider X is supposed to meet and exceed that.
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Unread post31 Dec 2022, 11:09

aaam wrote:For the record, the requirement was to have the same operational footprint as UH-60, not the same size. Part of the operational footprint is determined by how many vehicles can operate from a field of a specified size relative to the UH-60.

Tilt-Rotors are wider than comparable helicopters, but shorter because they don't have to allow for tail rotors and the proprotors do not extend beyond the nose of the aircraft


Operational footprint includes size. When setting up FARPs (speaking from experience), fuel points are set up not just distance form rotor tip but also total diameter of the aircraft to ensure enough spacing. As that picture above shows, the total diameter for the Valor is bigger than the UH-60 which could limit how and where it could be deployed.

Image
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Unread post30 Jan 2023, 07:38

charlielima223 wrote:This was bound to happen...

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/12/sik ... l-textron/


I think Sikorsky should let this go and focus on their FARA submission. Another thing came to mind about the FLRAA is how it will work with FARA. I am inclined to believe that the FARA though intending to be the successor for the OH-58 is also going to eventually replace the AH-64. It is not uncommon in certain operations (or whenever possible) for troop transport assets to have armed escort. In Afghanistan Chinooks had to routinely slow down so they wont leave their Apache escorts behind. Bells FARA submission even with the ITEP just barely reaches the desired speed and cruise requirements. Sikorsky's S-97 prototype already reached those desired requirements, their Raider X is supposed to meet and exceed that.



What I think you're seeing is a difference in strategy. I don't believe S-97 ever reached its promised top speed and i believe somewhere along the line Sikorsky said it never would. It dd, though, get well above 200 knots. After it did so, though, flights seemed to mostly stay in the 180-200 knot range. However, with what Army is asking for FARA, that's fast enough.

It appears that Sikorsky, who desperately needs a win for X2 (if they can deliver on their promise)s is going for enough performance to dazzle the Army at a probably higher cost (FARA does not look to be a pure cost shootout). Bell, OTOH, is seems to be saying, "We can give you what you ask for. What we're offering is lower cost and risk".

If both bidders deliver what they seem to offer, it'll be an interesting selection process.

Of course, still no one has addressed the fact that independent engineers and the Program Manager have said that an aircraft that can meet all the FARA requirements can't be built, so it'll be see where the Army compromises.
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