Bell Textron Inc has been selected as a project agreement holder for the competitive demonstration and risk reduction (CD&RR) effort of the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) programme
Under the agreement, Bell will deliver a refined V-280 Valor design, with supporting technical documentation, that builds on the data captured during the more than two years and 170 hours of testing flown under the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR TD) programme.
As part of that programme, Bell managed collaboration with twelve partner companies with the specific goal of achieving rapid production and a high level of systems integration.
The V-280, a next generation tiltrotor aircraft being developed for the United States Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme, achieved all intended goals, reaching speeds above 300 knots and demonstrating low-speed agility.
The aircraft was officially unveiled in 2013, and made its first flight on 18 December 2017 in Amarillo, Texas.
In one major difference from the earlier V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the engines remain in place while the rotors and drive shafts tilt. A driveshaft runs through the straight wing, allowing both rotors to be driven by a single engine in the event of engine failure.
The V-280 is reported to be designed for a cruising speed of 280kt (hence the name V-280), and a top speed of 300kt, with a range of 2,100nm and an effective combat range of 800nm.
Expected maximum takeoff weight is around 14,000kg.