posted on Apr, 26 2018 @ 11:52 PM
I have to be a bit careful about this aircraft, to be honest. I'm starting to turn into a fanboy and I hate that. I hate it in others and I'm
loathing it in myself. However, Bell seems to have really done a good job on the V-280. And I am very impressed.
Recently, Bell got the sucker going 140 kts with the nacelles at 60 deg and will have to change from a chase helicopter to a fixed wing
aircraft...because the Valor is too fast. The requirement is 280kts. Bell hopes to do 300.
The aircraft is progressing through its testing regime. In fact, it's looking like they will definitely (barring major disaster) be all but done
with the requirements that the Army came up with this year. Potentially even by the end of summer. Then they will move onto things they want to demo
before the army down selects, such as autonomous flight (though that will be next year, most likely). Even so, there's a nontrivial chance this new
tilt rotor will end up through the test cards that the Army wants done prior to the Sikorsky/Boeing design even getting airborne.
An Army pilot has already flown the Valor and Bell has extended an invitation to the other services (especially the Mighty Consumers of Crayons!) to
do the same.
As I said, color me impressed. Bell is certainly very thrilled.
The only concern I have is cost. The Army has made it clear that cost is really, really important.