The Bell V-280 Valor is a tiltrotor aircraft and a joint development of Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin under the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program of the United States Army. The Valor is designed to provide the perfect value in terms of cost, performance, operations, and structure, with its reliability and improved systems.
On June 5, 2013, the American aerospace manufacturer Bell Helicopter made an announcement that the design of V-280 Valor was chosen by the United States Army for the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) phase, which will provide technology demonstrations such as developing the aerial platform, the air vehicle, and the mission systems.
In September 2013, contracts were anticipated to take place. On September 9, Bell Helicopters declared its partnership with Lockheed Martin for the development of the Va-280 Valor. Lockheed will be responsible for avionics, including sensors, and armaments of the aircraft.
Other partner companies were announced the succeeding months such as Moog Inc which will design and manufacture the premier flight control systems, and GE aviation for the T64 turboshaft engines. The fuselage made of composite is supplied by Spirit Aero Systems, the V-tail assembly will be provided by a British company GKN, and the hydraulics, as well as power generation systems, will be provided by Eaton Corporation while the power distribution systems will be supplied by Astronics Advanced Electric Systems in Washington.
The aircraft nacelle will be designed by the first international partner of the program, Israel Aerospace Industries, and the state-of-the-art simulator and upgraded desktop maintenance trainer is from TRU Simulation + Training.
The V-280 Valor can accommodate four crew members and fourteen troops. It has an external length of 15.4 meters, a height of 7 meters, and a width of 24.93 meters. It will feature a retractable undercarriage, a V-tail design, and composite wings.
The aircraft has a cruise speed of 280 knots, a top speed of 300 knots, a combat range of 500 to 800 nautical miles, and a ferry range of 2,100 nautical miles. It has a service ceiling of 6,000 feet in hover out of ground effect at 95° F. The maximum takeoff weight is 26,000 kg and the empty weight is 15,000 kg.
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