Tag Archives: Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center

Slow Motion Videos Of The Bell V-280 Valor Prototype Provide Interesting Details About The Next-Generation Tilt-Rotor Aircraft

Take a look at these amazing clips filmed at 120 frames per second.

On Jul. 31, the first prototype of the V-280 Valor, registration N280BH, performed a flight demo for invited media and dignitariest at Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center.

The V-280 Valor is Bell’s submission for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) phase, the technology demonstration precursor to Future Vertical Lift (FVL), a replacement for the service’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk (that have just celebrated its 40th anniversary) and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.

As we have already reported here at The Aviationist, the V-280 will have a crew of 4 (including two pilots) and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops. Its cruising speed will be 280 knots (hence the designation V-280) and its top speed will be around 300 kts. It’s designed for a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi although the Army’s requirements for the demonstrator call for hot and high hover performance (at 6,000 feet and 95 F), and the ability to self-deploy 2,100 nautical miles at a speed of at least 230 knots.

The flight demo on Jul. 31, was filmed by our friend, journalist and photographer Steve Douglass in slow motion, at 120 fps. The videos in this page provide an interesting look from all angles at the Bell Next-Generation Tilt-Rotor Aircraft, including its “famous” T64-GE-419 tilting gearbox design (whose details were blurred images and footage officially released by Bell Helicopter when the aircraft was rolled out and performed its maiden flight): unlike the V-22‘s engines that rotate along with the gearboxes, in the V-280, the gearbox is the only thing that rotates.

Actually the gearbox was clearly visible since August last year, when we published the very first images of the Valor. Here below you can find also two lower resolution videos (they should be fine for smartphone viewing) of taken during the same flight demo:

According to Douglass, the Valor is much quieter than an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. During the demo, Bell program manager said they are working on an unmanned version – slightly smaller – same engine layout. They also hope to make gunship versions for the Marine Corp.

Here are a couple of interesting concept art works shared by Bell during the Amarillo event.

Concept art showing a possible future embarked V-280 derivative. (Bell Helicopter).

Concept Art showing the Valor supporting ground operations. (Bell Helicopter)

Bell Helicopter is also planning acoustic and RCS (Radar Cross Section) testing; the company believes the radar signature of the aircraft is going to be quite low.

H/T Steve Douglass for the heads-up and cool footage!

Bell V-280 Valor Next-Generation Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Prototype Has Just Made Its First Flight

The Bell V-280 Valor prototype has successfully achieved first flight at the Bell Helicopter assembly facility in Amarillo, TX.

On Dec. 18, the first prototype of the V-280 Valor, registration N280BH, performed its first flight at Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center.

Interestingly, both the images and the footage released by Bell Helicopter have been doctored to hide some details of the Valor’s T64-GE-419 tilting gearbox design: unlike the V-22‘s engines that rotate along with the gearboxes, in the V-280, the gearbox is the only thing that rotates.

Anyway, the gearbox is clearly visible in the images we have published on Aug. 30.

The V-280 Valor is Bell’s submission for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) phase, the technology demonstration precursor to Future Vertical Lift (FVL), a replacement for the service’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.

The V-280 will have a crew of 4 (including two pilots) and be capable of transporting up to 14 troops. Its cruising speed will be 280 knots (hence the designation V-280) and its top speed will be 300 kts. It’s designed for a range of 2,100 nautical miles and an effective combat range of 500 to 800 nmi although the Army’s requirements for the demonstrator call for hot and high hover performance (at 6,000 feet and 95 F), and the ability to self-deploy 2,100 nautical miles at a speed of at least 230 knots.

A front view of the V-280 during its first flight. Note the blurred gearbox details. (All images: Bell Helicopters).

H/T our friend Isaac Alexander (@jetcitystar) for the heads-up.

Side View Of The First Bell V-280 Valor Next-Generation Tilt-Rotor Aircraft Prototype

From this point of view it appears even more futuristic….

As reported yesterday, the first prototype of V-280 Valor, Bell’s candidate to the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD), in the running to replace the service’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters as part of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, was spotted at Bell Helicopter Amarillo Assembly Center attached to an engine test stand in preparation for the engine tests required ahead of its first flight scheduled next month.

In this post you can see a photograph, submitted by a source who wishes to remain anonymous, that provides a side view of the V-280 prototype, registered N280BH.

Along with the retractable landing gear, a triple-redundant fly by wire control system, and a V-tail configuration, the main V-280 feature is the futuristic tilting gearbox design where the output shaft is connected to the drive system through a spiral bevel gearbox that transfers power to the fixed gearbox and proprotor gearbox, which rotates on two big spherical bearings driven by a conversion actuator mechanism. In this way, the gearbox is the only thing that rotates whereas the engines do not. Moreover, a driveshaft runs through the straight wing, allowing both prop rotors to be driven by a single engine in case of engine loss.

Side view of the V-280 prototype clearly visible outside Bell Helicopter/Textron Plant in Amarillo, Texas.