Bell V-280 Valor

yasotay

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Arguably one of the most successful Army led aircraft experiments within the last couple of decades. Now the question is can the Army translate successful test into a program? Sadly recent endeavors point to a probability of not succeeding.
 

Flyaway

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Arguably one of the most successful Army led aircraft experiments within the last couple of decades. Now the question is can the Army translate successful test into a program? Sadly recent endeavors point to a probability of not succeeding.
At this stage of affairs in my view this can just be filed under needless speculation.
 
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yasotay

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Arguably one of the most successful Army led aircraft experiments within the last couple of decades. Now the question is can the Army translate successful test into a program? Sadly recent endeavors point to a probability of not succeeding.
At this stage of affairs in my view this can just be filed under needless speculation.
Needless, perhaps, but rendering an opinion remains an option unless the rules have changed.

V-280 clocks 200th flight hour before third flight anniversary - Vertical Mag
 
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jstar

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Does anyone have a source for a good general arrangement/3-view drawing of the v-280, suitable for model making?
I have jemiba's speculative from the start of this thread, but can't find anything else anywhere.
 

yasotay

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Does anyone have a source for a good general arrangement/3-view drawing of the v-280, suitable for model making?
I have jemiba's speculative from the start of this thread, but can't find anything else anywhere.
Have you tried the Bell website? They might have one there.
 

H_K

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Good idea @yasotay. There’s a 360 view of the Valor on Bell’s website.
 

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yasotay

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Good idea @yasotay. There’s a 360 view of the Valor on Bell’s website.
That 3d model is more representative of what Bell believes will be their final version of the offering for the FLRAA requirement from the U.S. Army.
 

jstar

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Does anyone have a source for a good general arrangement/3-view drawing of the v-280, suitable for model making?
I have jemiba's speculative from the start of this thread, but can't find anything else anywhere.
Does anyone have a source for a good general arrangement/3-view drawing of the v-280, suitable for model making?
I have jemiba's speculative from the start of this thread, but can't find anything else anywhere.
Have you tried the Bell website? They might have one there.
Believe it or not, that was my first choice. Then I read all 18 pages of this thread. Then I tried the other threads using the search engine here. Then I googled for what seemed like hours, and probably was.

I will do my research first, and only when I can't find it somewhere else will I ask on a forum. Sorry if I sound snippy, but really, "did you try Bell" I've been asking Bell since, if you asked nicely, somebody like R.R. Reber, the XV-15 Project Manager, would send you swell brochures, by mail, AND pay the postage.
 
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CiTrus90

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Does anyone have a source for a good general arrangement/3-view drawing of the v-280, suitable for model making?
I have jemiba's speculative from the start of this thread, but can't find anything else anywhere.
Does anyone have a source for a good general arrangement/3-view drawing of the v-280, suitable for model making?
I have jemiba's speculative from the start of this thread, but can't find anything else anywhere.
Have you tried the Bell website? They might have one there.
Believe it or not, that was my first choice. Then I read all 18 pages of this thread. Then I tried the other threads using the search engine here. Then I googled for what seemed like hours, and probably was.

I will do my research first, and only when I can't find it somewhere else will I ask on a forum. Sorry if I sound snippy, but really, "did you try Bell" I've been asking Bell since, if you asked nicely, they would send you swell brochures, by mail, and pay the postage.
Specifications

A top view blueprint is nowhere to be seen, but can be inferred given the top view and the side and front view available.
 

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yasotay

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Bell tunes new V-280 software to enhance aircraft handling qualities (Jane's Defence Weekly, Dec. 18, Pat Host)

Bell is tuning a new set of software for its V-280 Valor tiltrotor that gives the aircraft improved handling qualities, according to a company official. Ryan Ehinger, V-280 vice-president and programme director, told Janes on 15 December that this software added additional capabilities that would reduce pilot workload. This includes position hold and attitude hold, he said.
Ehinger said that software development often held up development programmes. Bell, he said, has developed and tested the V-280 software in a way that enables the company to make speedy turns of software safely. Ehinger told Janes on 17 December that Bell, through multiple fly-by-wire aircraft programmes, had developed processes, automated tools, and system integration laboratory (SIL) capabilities that supported rapid development and robust testing of flight control system software. These capabilities, Ehinger said, help to demonstrate enhanced levels of safety in proving out these flight critical systems ahead of flight test, as well as achieve substantial reductions in development cost and schedule. Bell’s V-280 SIL incorporates cockpit, flight control, hydraulic, avionics, and electrical systems that are highly representative of the actual aircraft to robustly and accurately evaluate the V-280 in normal and failure mode conditions.
Auto-coding and automated testing tools used in Bell’s V-280 SIL reduce the opportunity for human error, increase testing robustness, and result in the ability to accelerate software release cycle times from months to weeks. Ehinger said that Bell had doubled the software development efficiency as measured by software lines of code (SLOC) per hour compared with legacy processes.
The third anniversary of the V-280’s first flight is on 18 December 2020. Since then, the aircraft has performed 200 flight hours and demonstrated all the key performance parameters (KPPs) that the company sought to perform. These include high speed, reach – which Ehinger called a combination of speed and range – and low speed agility.
Bell has also demonstrated specific and operationally relevant test points with the V-280, such as open door flight, deploying a fast rope, performing sling load operations, and autonomous flight. Bell has exceeded 300 knots top speed with the V-280. Ehinger said that the company had originally intended to achieve at least 280 knots, but was able to achieve a little more out of the aircraft thanks in large part to the efficiency of the tiltrotor in cruise mode. Bell is looking forward to having experimental pilots fly the V-280 in 2021. Ehinger said that Bell had flown more than 12 sorties with four different US Army experimental pilots over the programme’s history.
The V-280 and Sikorsky-Boeing’s SB>1 Defiant coaxial rotorcraft are participating in the US Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition. Sikorsky-Boeing said on 17 December that the aircraft had 1,500 hours in its SIL, 135 hours in its propulsion systems test bed (PSTB), and had 31 flights with 26 hours in the air.
The SB>1 reached 211 knots in straight and level flight on 12 October and 232 knots in a descent with about two-thirds propeller torque and engine power. The Defiant on 9 June reached 205 knots in flight while using less than 50% of the installed propeller power. Sikorsky-Boeing declined to disclose what it has planned for the Defiant in 2021.
 

H_K

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Sikorsky-Boeing said on 17 December that the aircraft had 1,500 hours in its SIL, 135 hours in its propulsion systems test bed (PSTB), and had 31 flights with 26 hours in the air.

So the SB-1 Defiant has only flown 8 hours in the last 6 months? (In June the total was 18 flight hours)

What’s wrong?
 

yasotay

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Sikorsky-Boeing said on 17 December that the aircraft had 1,500 hours in its SIL, 135 hours in its propulsion systems test bed (PSTB), and had 31 flights with 26 hours in the air.

So the SB-1 Defiant has only flown 8 hours in the last 6 months? (In June the total was 18 flight hours)

What’s wrong?
Newer technology I suspect. While there is a significant amount of information on tilt rotors out there including operational deployment, the coaxial rotor compound helicopter has relatively little data to go on. Especially when you significantly size up the aircraft. There are more than likely a number of areas that you have to work your way through methodically to make sure you have a safe aircraft.
 

yasotay

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yasotay

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WARNING TO AeroFranz - don't read past the first paragraph!

Bell and U.S. Army advance development of V-280 Valor and Aviation modernization

Fort Worth, Texas (March 31, 2021) – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company and the U.S. Army have agreed to terms on the execution of the second phase of the Competitive Demonstration and Risk Reduction (CD&RR) contract that was awarded in March 2020 for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. This new contract is an important milestone and testament to the continued momentum for Army modernization. Bell’s flight-proven V-280 Valor design advances from an aircraft with transformational speed and survivability towards a low-risk weapons system ready to support joint combined arms and maneuver operations around the world.

“This is the next step to a program of record and Bell is proud to closely collaborate with the Army to transition our flight-proven V-280 Valor into a highly-capable and sustainable FLRAA weapons system,” said Keith Flail, executive vice president, Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “Bell and our Team Valor teammates continue to optimize our platform based on research, design, and thorough flight-testing of the aircraft to deliver an outstanding capability for the Army.”

During phase one of the CD&RR, Bell provided detailed iterations on the V-280 design, data to highlight the feasibility of executing the program of record requirements, and executed trade studies using model-based systems engineering. This work will continue under phase two as the Army finalizes requirements for the program of record planned for 2022.

Bell has already safely delivered groundbreaking performance and successfully completed a rapid design, build, and test program with the V-280. Since its first flight in 2017, the V-280 team has executed a rigorous flight test program flying more than 200 hours through over 160 individual test flights that delivered critical data to validate Bell’s digital models and performance.

As the FLRAA competition moves to a program of record, Bell continues to take a holistic approach to transition the V-280 to a weapons system that ensures exceptional performance and is affordable throughout the lifecycle. From the outset, the Bell V-280 Valor was designed for efficiency—using simplified and inherently reliable designs, adhering to Army Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) requirements, reducing maintenance costs, and increasing reliability. Bell applied digital design and manufacturing technologies, included maintenance as part of the design process, and used emerging commercial processes to bring a comprehensive view of digital models, processing, and analysis. This methodology has reduced programmatic risk, improved lifecycle maintenance and servicing outcomes, increasing program affordability.

“This aircraft is not an engineering science project. The V-280 tiltrotor provides a critical and combat-proven capability needed to maintain our U.S. military’s ability to deter adversaries by radically improving over the current fleet’s speed, range, versatility, and sustainability. Our program has provided evidence that the V-280 is a transformational long-range assault aircraft solution for the Army and we are proud to move forward as a team to continue to mature the weapons system,” said Ryan Ehinger, vice president and program director, FLRAA at Bell.
 

MihoshiK

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“This aircraft is not an engineering science project."

Ouch. Someone's gonna need some water for that burn.
 

Archibald

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In one major difference from the earlier V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the engines remain in place while the rotors and drive shafts tilt.

Clever trick ! It gets the best (somewhat) of CL-84 and V-22... the engines remain fixed to the wing (as per CL-84) but it keeps the tiltrotor better disc-loading numbers.
Maybe it should be called a tiltshaft ? or maybe the V-22 should be called a tiltengine ?
 

VTOLicious

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In one major difference from the earlier V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the engines remain in place while the rotors and drive shafts tilt.

Clever trick ! It gets the best (somewhat) of CL-84 and V-22... the engines remain fixed to the wing (as per CL-84) but it keeps the tiltrotor better disc-loading numbers.
Maybe it should be called a tiltshaft ? or maybe the V-22 should be called a tiltengine ?
No need for a new name. The decisive factor is whether the wing swivels with the rotors or not. Hence, tilt-wing or tilt-rotor. From an aerodynamic point of view it makes no difference whether the engines remain fixed or swivel.
 

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I haven't seen anything confirming that as yet. However I imagine they'll run into a flight test resource squeeze as the 360 prototype gets closer to completion .
 

apparition13

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In one major difference from the earlier V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, the engines remain in place while the rotors and drive shafts tilt.

Clever trick ! It gets the best (somewhat) of CL-84 and V-22... the engines remain fixed to the wing (as per CL-84) but it keeps the tiltrotor better disc-loading numbers.
Maybe it should be called a tiltshaft ? or maybe the V-22 should be called a tiltengine ?
It's actually superior to both (I hate to say it as I'm a CL-84 fan, but who knows where that would have led had it been produced in the 70s) since it's not blasting the landing zone with hot exhaust.

Now produce ASW and AEW variats for the USN and allies with STOVL carriers.

I also really like the Sikorsky design, but they have been infected with LM's years late and massively over budget disease. Maybe the Army should have gone with AVX instead.
 
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yasotay

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I think that the Sikorsky will get the X-2 (ABC) working satisfactorily in the coming years toward being a very viable rotorcraft. It is just not ready for prime time in the larger size just now. Honestly, I think if Sikorsky had five more years to work out the details for the larger FVL they would do fine. I just don't think they have that option presently. While I think the tilt rotor is a superb platform for lift, I am not as supportive of it as an ASW platform as I do not think that it is as economical at hovering for long periods which is what I think the USN will be looking for in its replacement for the H-60 platforms. Honestly I think an H-60 with new engines, maybe an electric tail rotor and even more improved rotors will make the USN happy for their ASW helo requirement.
 

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Honestly I think an H-60 with new engines, maybe an electric tail rotor and even more improved rotors will make the USN happy for their ASW helo requirement.

Or something like the Piasecki X-49 Speedhawk if they really want a bit more speed.
 

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@yasotay :
I also really think that having both design in service is inevitable. It is also highly probable that something out of the SB-1 will be fielded but in the future. Re-engined H-60 platforms would certainly meet front line needs for an extra decade once teamed with the V-280.
It's great at last to see that long term program planification has led to such a large panel of appropriate choices.

Those that have to make hard choices b/w 1960 designed airframe or Grey painted civilian's might look at that with envy.
 

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Those that have to make hard choices b/w 1960 designed airframe or Grey painted civilian's might look at that with envy.
How many CH-47Fs and H-225Ms sold vs V-22s? It seems to have been an easy call for most operators... utility and cost effectiveness over speed, complexity and $$$.
 

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We are talking about the choices of tomorrow. In trying to make a cheap joke you haven't even checked that that there is 4 to 5 "complex and expensive" Osprey out there for every Caracal built.
 

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I think that the Sikorsky will get the X-2 (ABC) working satisfactorily in the coming years toward being a very viable rotorcraft. It is just not ready for prime time in the larger size just now. Honestly, I think if Sikorsky had five more years to work out the details for the larger FVL they would do fine. I just don't think they have that option presently. While I think the tilt rotor is a superb platform for lift, I am not as supportive of it as an ASW platform as I do not think that it is as economical at hovering for long periods which is what I think the USN will be looking for in its replacement for the H-60 platforms. Honestly I think an H-60 with new engines, maybe an electric tail rotor and even more improved rotors will make the USN happy for their ASW helo requirement.
I'm talking S-3 Viking replacement, but deployable on STOVL as well as conventional carriers, not duplicating ASW helicopter capabilities. Something along the lines of the ASW and AEW CL-84 proposals.
 

yasotay

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Those that have to make hard choices b/w 1960 designed airframe or Grey painted civilian's might look at that with envy.
How many CH-47Fs and H-225Ms sold vs V-22s? It seems to have been an easy call for most operators... utility and cost effectiveness over speed, complexity and $$$.
I think you have to consider the application as well. Certainly you are correct that H-47 and H-225M are less expensive to acquire. However they are not performing the same mission sets at the V-22. The V-22 is the most utilized platform in the US inventory, because it is capable of operating over far greater ranges than the two mentioned helicopters. While both can be made to operate over long distances (air refueling), you still are going to take twice as long to execute the same long distance missions (thus twice the flight time and associated cost) to include twice the time on the associated supporting (refueler) aircraft. Also supporting an armed force in Europe or the Middle East or Africa (to a lesser extent) where you have contiguous land masses makes it easier to support more numerous logistics nodes for the shorter ranged helicopters. The Pacific is so vastly different that the logistics of supporting nodes close enough together is very problematic. The two mentioned helicopters were designed brilliantly for a massive land war in Europe and have been adapted quite well for other missions. So to your point that for many militaries the H-47 and H-225 are indeed better suited to most anticipated mission sets is sensible. For militaries that have larger expected areas to operate, other platform types become a sensible investment.

@apparition13 - Indeed I responded to your post without really reading it. I would agree, and suspect that the USN at least will look at the CMV-2B for other potential missions that could be performed. While I doubt it is as efficient as the S-3, having a capability where there currently is none, makes it worthy of consideration.
 

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@yasotay I agree 100%. Just think it’s important to remind people that the trade-offs are real and that so far there has been only 1 export order for a fast rotorcraft... for 5 V-22s.

So the million dollar question is how much of an improvement will these newest technologies offer over the V-22 to convince military users outside the US to finally take the plunge (and to make it affordable for the US services themselves, as let’s not forget that budgets are going to be squeezed in the future).
 

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@yasotay :
I also really think that having both design in service is inevitable. It is also highly probable that something out of the SB-1 will be fielded but in the future. Re-engined H-60 platforms would certainly meet front line needs for an extra decade once teamed with the V-280.
It's great at last to see that long term program planification has led to such a large panel of appropriate choices.

Those that have to make hard choices b/w 1960 designed airframe or Grey painted civilian's might look at that with envy.
I am of opipion that the Bell Valor is going to be the Blackhawk replacement while Sikorsky is going to get the scout helicopter program.

Honestly the Best of both worlds since either way...

Both companies will stay in business. That is what the government wants.
 

yasotay

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Given that the V-22 was the first operational tilt rotor, one would hope that the next one would have improvements. One could argue that V-280 does have some major changes in that the wing is straight (easier to build and fewer parts) along with engines that are fixed, again simplified over V-22. Composites and computer designs round only the advances I can name of the top of my head.
 

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That was my thoughts too, I had always thought the V-280 was a proof-of-concept demonstrator and now it's done it's final flight test that's what it seems to be. Mind you, it does open up a possible commercial line of tilt-rotor transports doesn't it ---
 

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