Bell V-280 Celebrates First Year Of Flight

 - December 18, 2018, 12:47 PM
2018 was a busy and successful year for the V-280 Valor test program. The military tiltrotor amassed 85 flight hours and completed more than 180 rotor-turn hours, while demonstrating in-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical takeoff and landing. Upcoming challenges include achieving full speed in forward cruise flight and low-speed agility tests.

Bell is reporting critical milestones in its V-280 next-generation tiltrotor flight test program. The V-280 is a current competitor in the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program. The aircraft made is first flight a year ago, and in the past 12 months it has flown 85 hours and completed more than 180 rotor-turn hours. During flights, the V-280 has achieved 250 knots true airspeed, performed 50-degree banked turns at 200 knots, demonstrated a climb rate of 4,500 feet per minute and sustained flight at 11,500 feet, and flown a single ferry flight of over 370 miles.  

The aircraft also has successfully demonstrated in-flight transitions between cruise mode and vertical takeoff and landing and low and high-speed agility with fly-by-wire controls. In the coming months, Bell said the V-280 will continue to expand its flight test envelope including full speed in forward cruise flight and low-speed agility tests. 

“I am proud of the team’s remarkable accomplishments during the first year of flight,” said Bell CEO Mitch Snyder. “By working with the government, we continue to prove the V-280 is the agile aircraft that our military needs now.”