Bell V-280 Valor

@aim9xray : you nailed it perfectly.

This is what I wrote before reading you:
Well, that's why you have RFI: it's the industry that has engineers and scientists. Sikorsky is now claiming that they should be considered as a tiers 1 contractor for the Services. I fear that some of them (those that pushed for this protest) are lost

I fear also that it's gonna be a popular joke among us.

"You are subjectivizing in a delusional world!
...
@admin: this is too much subjectivation
...
Subjective yourself!"

Obviously, I should report myself for this blattent lack of subjectivity.
I fear the subjectivousity of this thread is coming to an inflection point.
 
Anyone want to venture a guess on this (red outline in the picture). The tail surfaces seem drastically different and I cannot tell what is going on with the side of the model either.
 

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Let's hope so. The senior senator from Connecticut made some rather vindictive comments yesterday.
 
What were the comments said by the Connecticut senator yasotay? Were they for the Valor or against?
 
What were the comments said by the Connecticut senator yasotay? Were they for the Valor or against?
Against, in broad terms he implied Congress could shrink/pull FLRAA funding if they believe the Army is buying the wrong aircraft. Which is certainly true and also pretty similar to comments Senator Shelby made about the KC-X contract going to Boeing. Yet the tanker contract ticks right along. Home state senators are going to say what they will, but they aren't going to have the votes to kill a program unless they can make a really compelling case.
 

Seems the issue was Defiant X didn't have nearly the entering and development design that the geo expects out of a contract tender, despite being much cheaper (I wouldn't trust that price estimate either gao)
 
Home state senators are going to say what they will, but they aren't going to have the votes to kill a program unless they can make a really compelling case.
Given the history of Army aviation, I'm not entirely confident the project isn't killed or severely curtailed no matter who the entrants or which states the jobs hail from. My guess is costs will rise above the bid (as they almost always do, no matter who runs the program) and talk will rapidly shift to "can we afford this new radically expanded capability or can we get by with fewer or none".
I'm surprised there hasn't been more public comments on the Valor and Key West implications from certain corners of Washington.

In another four years when the current contract for UH-60's expires, odds are good Sikorski gets another batch on contract alongside the Bell contract: "Due to delays and escalating costs we are placing an order for 60 more UH-60M over the next four years to maintain capabilities and force levels in this shrinking budget environment. This ensures the best value for the tax-payer in today's inflationary environment." Or whatever horse crap they paint it up with.

This is no slight on the Valor or Bell, and would be just as- or more-likely had they gone with the Defiant based on the GAO report. It just seems to be the routine for new Army aircraft. Hope goes better than my cynicism says it will.
 
I doubt the USAF will argue as it is an "air assault" platform. A mission that is an Army mission by KWA (in its latest form). It does not threaten any USAF missions with its short range.
Blackhawk will be around for a very long time, so I agree there is at least one more upgrade. What it won't do is meet mission requirements in several mission areas (Pacific, Africa, Arctic).
However your pessimistic view of Army Aviation ineptitude with procurement is well founded with historic presidence.
 
Same here yasotay, I do not think that the USAF will go that far after all concerning the history with the AH-56 Cheyenne program.
 
Bell Arrives at La Bourget Riding High on Army Helicopter Win

(National Defense Magazine, June 22, Stew Magnuson)

PARIS—Sitting in the middle of Bell Helicopter’s massive pavilion at the Paris Air Show was the full-scale mock-up of the V-280 Valor, which was hardly surprising. The company has been hauling the tilt-rotor model from air shows to trade shows for the past 10 years.
What’s different at the 54th air show at La Bourget Airport is that the Valor is now a winner. In December, the U.S. Army awarded Bell Textron Inc. the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA, contract after a years-long, multi-stage competition to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk.
A protest from the rival Sikorsky-Boeing team followed, but after the Government Accountability Office confirmed the Army’s choice about two months ago, work is beginning in earnest, a Bell executive said June 20.
“We’re in full communication and collaboration mode with the Army,” Ryan Ehinger, vice president and program director of FLRAA and the V-280 Valor at Bell, said in an interview. “It’s about ensuring understanding of the requirements and making sure when we leave off to design the aircraft that it meets the requirements and that we will be executing the program reliably and effectively.”
Since Bell had been working on the Valor as a technology demonstrator for the past decade, it is able to start quickly, he said. “We have carried a team and we have matured that team over the past 10 years, so we were able to warm start, if not hot start, this program,” he said.
But not everyone is in place. With the contract win, the team is growing, and Bell — like most other contractors — is on the hunt for talent, and Ehinger said the company will be doing a lot of hiring events throughout the United States.
Its big needs now are software engineers and experts in cybersecurity and mission systems, he said.
And all this work is occurring as Bell is working on its offering for the other part of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft. The replacement program for the OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopter also pits Bell against Sikorsky.
As far as the new Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, Bell doesn’t have far to go adapting the Valor to the requirements, he said. “The key thing is we were able to demonstrate a lot of the things that the Army has been working on.” The final platform will feature the tilt-rotor design and be similar in size and scale, he added.
The Valor can fly at speeds of up to 280 knots with a range of 500 nautical miles compared to a typical Black Hawk model, which may go as fast as 150 knots with a range of 320 nautical miles. Army leaders also cited the Valor’s superior maneuverability after making their choice.
“From a risk standpoint, we’ve matured the technology. We’ve demonstrated the capability, so now it’s tweaking that to meet the requirements,” Ehinger added.
Another winning factor cited by the Army and GAO was the Modular Open Systems Approach, or MOSA, that will allow subsystems to interface with each other, and will in the future make upgrades much easier.
“We’re very proud of our MOSA concept,” Ehinger said. All of the armed services have been looking for systems that can help them easily manage upgrades, which incorporating MOSA standards helps them do, he said. The GAO in its document upholding the Army’s decision to pick Bell cited the company’s superior MOSA plan as one reason the protest was denied.
“It will also help spiral in new technologies to keep up with the pace of the threat and the pace of just technology advancements in general,” Ehinger said.
The company has also established Team Valor, its industry partners in the program that include Rolls Royce for the engine, Lockheed Martin for the mission systems and Spirit AeroSystems for the fuselage.
“It’s a pretty deep bench nationally and internationally to make up our industrial base,” he said.
“People are excited about the FLRAA program,” Ehinger said about attendees’ reactions at the air show. It has been a long time since there has been a big, clean sheet rotorcraft development program, he added.
“We’re going to deliver something to the warfighters that gives them a whole lot more capability than they have had in the past and from an industrial base perspective, it’s going to take a whole lot of people coming together to make it happen,” he said.
 
Army seeking information to inform MEDEVAC risk reduction for FLRAA / Inside Defense

DATE: July 25, 2023

BYLINE: Dan Schere

The Army is asking for technical information to inform the medical evacuation risk-reduction capabilities for the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, according to a request for information posted Tuesday.
Following a lengthy down select process, the Army awarded Textron’s Bell the $1.3 billion FLRAA contract last December. The service conducted more than 20 soldier touchpoints with infantry and MEDEVAC soldiers and pilots to help inform the requirements, the Army said at the time.
FLRAA will gradually replace the UH-60 Black Hawk starting in 2030. However, the Army’s top officials have said that the future aircraft is not a one-for-one replacement of the UH-60, and they expect the legacy fleet to continue flying for another 40 to 50 years.
The RFI posted Tuesday states the Program Executive Office for Aviation is seeking information to “inform FLRAA MEDEVAC risk-reduction activities for FLRAA MEDEVAC.”
Among the types of capabilities the Army is interested in, according to the notice, are aircraft hoist systems that can lift 800 pounds, a MEDEVAC Enhanced Modular Patient Handling System that can fit in the cabin of the aircraft and a MEDEVAC mission sensor that can locate and remove patients in many types of conditions.
The RFI also states that there will be a subsequent industry day and follow-on government and industry sessions. The information collected will be used for information and planning, but is not a solicitation, the notice states.
FLRAA is scheduled to enter milestone B, the transition to the engineering and manufacturing development stage, in the third quarter of fiscal year 2024, service officials said in April at the Army Aviation Association of America conference in Nashville.



Now the fun begins, actually trying to make the actual aircraft.


Moderators: I would like to recommend that the thread title be changed to "Future Long Range Assault Aircraft" (if the originator does not object). V-280 Valor was the Bell Flight name for its demonstrator aircraft. As this is now an official program the correct nomenclature is Future Long Range Assault Aircraft.
 
Actually it should be Long Range Assault Aircraft, since this is happening now and not in the future! ;)
 
U.S. Army documents say first fielding is 2030. Given their ability to mess up new start rotorcraft, perhaps we should call it PLRAA . "Possible " Long Range Assault Aircraft.
 
2030 for the first fielding of the Valor? That is a bit far off, what made the US Army decide on 2030 for first fielding?
 
2030 for the first fielding of the Valor? That is a bit far off, what made the US Army decide on 2030 for first fielding?
The V-280 Valor was a slightly sub-scale technology demonstrator that flew while the final requirements were hashed out with the US Army among other activities). The Bell design that won FLRAA has to move through detail design, get a small fleet of vehicles manufactured for flight testing, and another set for operational testing. The design needs to be flown to collect data and then the design qualified. All sorts of operations and training material needs to be developed, and the ships for the first units built and crews trained. There is a long road ahead and it will take discipline and skill on both the Bell and US Army team to make that 2030 date.
 

An interesting opinion, but I do not completely agree with the assessment. Bell will likely retain a robust civil rotorcraft market that always receives high marks from the customer base. Sikorsky on the other hand with S-92 assembly ended and S-76 in update mode only, I do think they may be at some risk. I am sure that they are looking at a number of options to move forward beyond just the X2 technology. Boeing has abandoned the civil market.
 

An interesting opinion, but I do not completely agree with the assessment. Bell will likely retain a robust civil rotorcraft market that always receives high marks from the customer base. Sikorsky on the other hand with S-92 assembly ended and S-76 in update mode only, I do think they may be at some risk. I am sure that they are looking at a number of options to move forward beyond just the X2 technology. Boeing has abandoned the civil market.
A slide went around a few months ago showing a Sikorsky concept for a new medium twin with what looked like a composite fuselage and some other advanced features. Assuming Lockheed doesn't kill it for reasons, I expect we're going to see them launch a new commercial product in the near future.
 
A slide went around a few months ago showing a Sikorsky concept for a new medium twin with what looked like a composite fuselage and some other advanced features. Assuming Lockheed doesn't kill it for reasons, I expect we're going to see them launch a new commercial product in the near future.
It will be a nearly 1 billion dollar commitment to bring a new civil rotorcraft to market in the medium or larger class... and it would essentially be Lockheed's only new commercial product in any division. I honestly doubt they'll do it.
 
It will be a nearly 1 billion dollar commitment to bring a new civil rotorcraft to market in the medium or larger class... and it would essentially be Lockheed's only new commercial product in any division. I honestly doubt they'll do it.
If LM bought Sikorsky expecting to never again launch a commercial product, they are quite simply insane. Even if their first love is clearly military contracts, the sheer amount of military rotorcraft based on commercial airframes would make that attitude pants-on-head crazy.
 
I suspect that Sikorsky's efforts to entice the Italians to invest in X2 is an attempt to amortize the continued development cost. I also would not be surprised to see Sikorsky establish links with one of the European rotorcraft consortium like Boeing has done with Leonardo.

... fortunately this has nothing to do with V-280 or the U.S. Army Future Long Range Assault Aircraft.
 
I suspect that Sikorsky's efforts to entice the Italians to invest in X2 is an attempt to amortize the continued development cost. I also would not be surprised to see Sikorsky establish links with one of the European rotorcraft consortium like Boeing has done with Leonardo.

... fortunately this has nothing to do with V-280 or the U.S. Army Future Long Range Assault Aircraft.
Except for the sheer height of the X2 rotor mast, it'd make an excellent naval helo. Same reason that Kamov traditionally made the Red Navy helos while Mil made Red Army helos.
 
snark:
Could Bell's win be anything to do with rival Sikorsky having Boeing as a partner ?
At the moment, I don't think any-one dares trust Boeing to craft a working toilet-brush on time and to budget...
/
 
snark:
Could Bell's win be anything to do with rival Sikorsky having Boeing as a partner ?
At the moment, I don't think any-one dares trust Boeing to craft a working toilet-brush on time and to budget...
/
Isn't Sikorsky the prime on the X2 based helos?
 
Those after-contract lawsuits are so annoying (e.g. Canadian Army’s Bren Gun scandal of the 1930s). The only people who benefit are lawyers and perhaps the senator from the state/province who lost the contract.
In the end, most of those lawsuits are a waste of time and money.
 
As soon as the contract is awarded they should deny the loosing company the opportunity to appeal thus saving all the time and money into the pointless lawsuits.
 
Boeing is not associated with the Sikorsky FARA "Raider X."
 
What happened to Boeing by the way? Did they not participate in the program or did they get booted out early on?
 
As soon as the contract is awarded they should deny the loosing company the opportunity to appeal thus saving all the time and money into the pointless lawsuits.

So, no appeal of a selection ever, in effect. What happens when the contracting authority ignores their own criteria, either because they are incompetent or corrupt? It happens, and a nation governed by the rule of law should have a mechanism for victims to seek redress.

What happened to Boeing by the way? Did they not participate in the program or did they get booted out early on?

They bid their own compound helo.

 
Thanks TomS, so they used the Phantom Works for their helicopter design, that certainly is news to me.
 
Bell Arrives at La Bourget Riding High on Army Helicopter Win

(National Defense Magazine, June 22, Stew Magnuson)

PARIS—Sitting in the middle of Bell Helicopter’s massive pavilion at the Paris Air Show was the full-scale mock-up of the V-280 Valor, which was hardly surprising. The company has been hauling the tilt-rotor model from air shows to trade shows for the past 10 years.
What’s different at the 54th air show at La Bourget Airport is that the Valor is now a winner. In December, the U.S. Army awarded Bell Textron Inc. the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, or FLRAA, contract after a years-long, multi-stage competition to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk.
A protest from the rival Sikorsky-Boeing team followed, but after the Government Accountability Office confirmed the Army’s choice about two months ago, work is beginning in earnest, a Bell executive said June 20.
“We’re in full communication and collaboration mode with the Army,” Ryan Ehinger, vice president and program director of FLRAA and the V-280 Valor at Bell, said in an interview. “It’s about ensuring understanding of the requirements and making sure when we leave off to design the aircraft that it meets the requirements and that we will be executing the program reliably and effectively.”
Since Bell had been working on the Valor as a technology demonstrator for the past decade, it is able to start quickly, he said. “We have carried a team and we have matured that team over the past 10 years, so we were able to warm start, if not hot start, this program,” he said.
But not everyone is in place. With the contract win, the team is growing, and Bell — like most other contractors — is on the hunt for talent, and Ehinger said the company will be doing a lot of hiring events throughout the United States.
Its big needs now are software engineers and experts in cybersecurity and mission systems, he said.
And all this work is occurring as Bell is working on its offering for the other part of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift program, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft. The replacement program for the OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopter also pits Bell against Sikorsky.
As far as the new Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, Bell doesn’t have far to go adapting the Valor to the requirements, he said. “The key thing is we were able to demonstrate a lot of the things that the Army has been working on.” The final platform will feature the tilt-rotor design and be similar in size and scale, he added.
The Valor can fly at speeds of up to 280 knots with a range of 500 nautical miles compared to a typical Black Hawk model, which may go as fast as 150 knots with a range of 320 nautical miles. Army leaders also cited the Valor’s superior maneuverability after making their choice.
“From a risk standpoint, we’ve matured the technology. We’ve demonstrated the capability, so now it’s tweaking that to meet the requirements,” Ehinger added.
Another winning factor cited by the Army and GAO was the Modular Open Systems Approach, or MOSA, that will allow subsystems to interface with each other, and will in the future make upgrades much easier.
“We’re very proud of our MOSA concept,” Ehinger said. All of the armed services have been looking for systems that can help them easily manage upgrades, which incorporating MOSA standards helps them do, he said. The GAO in its document upholding the Army’s decision to pick Bell cited the company’s superior MOSA plan as one reason the protest was denied.
“It will also help spiral in new technologies to keep up with the pace of the threat and the pace of just technology advancements in general,” Ehinger said.
The company has also established Team Valor, its industry partners in the program that include Rolls Royce for the engine, Lockheed Martin for the mission systems and Spirit AeroSystems for the fuselage.
“It’s a pretty deep bench nationally and internationally to make up our industrial base,” he said.
“People are excited about the FLRAA program,” Ehinger said about attendees’ reactions at the air show. It has been a long time since there has been a big, clean sheet rotorcraft development program, he added.
“We’re going to deliver something to the warfighters that gives them a whole lot more capability than they have had in the past and from an industrial base perspective, it’s going to take a whole lot of people coming together to make it happen,” he said.

I was in the Bell chalet , having brief on FVL, so it was nice to see and sit in the V-280 mock up, after last year's Farnborough. One noticeable difference was the 101st #Screaming Eagles' patch on the nose lol...so my photos

IMG_5058.jpg 355633439_10161422983791490_5772929420153530214_n.jpg 355669760_10161422983611490_4195631786120823928_n.jpg IMG_5110.jpg IMG_5064.jpg

cheers
 

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