Textron‘s Bell subsidiary has conducted the first public demonstration of the V-280 Valor tiltrotor prototype for the U.S. Army's capability demonstration program, which is expected to be completed in 2019, Defense News reported Wednesday.
The aircraft reached 170 knots in the first pass and 175 knots in the second pass of the demonstration while on hover mode, then showed on cruise mode that it has a lower acoustic signature compared to the legacy V-22 Osprey aircraft.
Frank Lazzara, business development manager of advanced tiltrotor systems at Bell, stated that the vertical lift plane also presented an 80-degree jump takeoff and a roll-on landing, which is essential in increasing the configurations and weights with which it can take off and land.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based company has so far recorded nearly 40 flight hours in the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration program under the Army's Future Vertical Lift effort.
During the test program, Valor test pilots also reached a speed of 195 knots, which is more than half of what the company aims to achieve.
Bell will continue to assess the V-280 to meet the objectives under JMR-TD, as the Army continues to search for a future vertical lift aircraft to possibly field in the 2030s.
The Textron firm finished developing the V-280 prototype with other companies such as Lockheed Martin and General Electric in September 2017.