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On 18 December 2017, Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, announced that its V-280 VALOR has achieved first flight.

The V-280VALOR is a next-generation tiltrotor that is designed to provide great agility, speed, range and payload capabilities at an affordable cost. This milestone represents exceptional progress on the V-280 development programme and brings Bell Helicopter one step closer to creating the next generation of vertical lift aircraft for the US military.

This is an exciting time for Bell Helicopter, and I could not be more proud of the progress we have made with first flight of the Bell V-280,” Mitch Snyder, President & CEO for Bell Helicopter, said. “First flight demonstrates our commitment to supporting Department of Defense leadership’s modernisation priorities and acquisition reform initiatives. The VALOR is designed to revolutionise vertical lift for the US Army and represents a transformational aircraft for all the challenging missions our armed forces are asked to undertake. We are thrilled to share in this success of the V-280 first flight with TeamValor. The V-280 intends to completely transform what is possible for the military when it comes to battle planning and forward operations.”

The Bell V-280 VALOR programme is part of the Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) initiative. The JMR-TD programme is the science and technology precursor to the US Department of Defense's (DoD) Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme. The V-280 programme brings together the engineering resources and industrial capabilities of Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Moog, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), TRU Simulation & Training, Astronics, Eaton, GKN Aerospace, Lord, Meggitt and Spirit AeroSystems, collectively referred to as Team Valor.

 

Interestingly, the most critical piece of equipment, the engine's tilt technology, is pixelated. (Photo: Bell)

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