Bell V-280 Valor

Recall that the V-280 was design to course basic parameters, where as this aircraft is being designed to specific requirements.
 
Probably just blankets for small arms.
An armor plate attached to the moving part would work better and be more aerodynamic when in flight mode.


Recall that the V-280 was design to course basic parameters, where as this aircraft is being designed to specific requirements.
Still seems weird that the fuselage is now boxier than before, and not with a midlevel chine for RCS or anything.
 
Still seems weird that the fuselage is now boxier than before
I would assume that after they won the contract, Army approached them and asked if they could fit some specific piece of equipment into the cargo space, Bell responded they can do it if they reshape the fuselage, and Army went: "Great, do that then."

I don't know what it would be, but the Valor has significant load carrying capacity, the ability to carry a lot of things is definitely limited by internal volume/shape.
 
I would assume that after they won the contract, Army approached them and asked if they could fit some specific piece of equipment into the cargo space, Bell responded they can do it if they reshape the fuselage, and Army went: "Great, do that then."

I don't know what it would be, but the Valor has significant load carrying capacity, the ability to carry a lot of things is definitely limited by internal volume/shape.
Oh, agreed, it's just odd that this requirement wasn't mentioned during Prototype.
 
For the record the prototype is what is being deigned now. V-280 was a technology demonstrator.
Ah, makes a bit more sense now.

Still seems weird that the outer fuselage mold line is an Amazon Box with wings. I would have expected at least some level of radar chines.
 
Ah, makes a bit more sense now.

Still seems weird that the outer fuselage mold line is an Amazon Box with wings. I would have expected at least some level of radar chines.
Again still early stages. Look at the pre production models and prototypes for nearly every plane.

They all look different from what we end up getting as the DOD and Companies tweak and mod everything to fit the Balance.

Said Balance being Capabilities, manufacturing ability, repair ability, and everyone favor six letter word...

Budget.
 
AW&ST (Tony Osborne) has an interesting article up (link below). While it is much more than a V-280 article I thought I would post the salient points about the FLRAA program here for discussion.

"The reverberations from the U.S. Army’s decision to select Bell’s V-280 Valor for its Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program are likely to be felt by the global rotorcraft industry in the coming years.
While the decision will change the shape of the helicopter industry in the U.S., the Army’s push toward a higher-speed rotorcraft now looks set to drive a recalculation in the planning, doctrines and requirements for helicopters among U.S. allies.
...The U.S. Army’s choice is arguably an epoch-defining moment for military rotorcraft. It may prove even more significant than the introduction of the turboshaft engine onto helicopters in the 1960s, which transformed their performance. Indeed, the selection of the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft was probably the highlight of what would have been yet another quiet year for the helicopter industry."

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/aircraft-propulsion/growing-rotorcraft-industry-faces-regulatory-supply-chain-issues
 
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AW&ST (Tony Osborne) has an interesting article up (link below). While it is much more than a V-280 article I thought I would post the salient points about the FLRAA program here for discussion.

"The reverberations from the U.S. Army’s decision to select Bell’s V-280 Valor for its Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program are likely to be felt by the global rotorcraft industry in the coming years.
While the decision will change the shape of the helicopter industry in the U.S., the Army’s push toward a higher-speed rotorcraft now looks set to drive a recalculation in the planning, doctrines and requirements for helicopters among U.S. allies.
...The U.S. Army’s choice is arguably an epoch-defining moment for military rotorcraft. It may prove even more significant than the introduction of the turboshaft engine onto helicopters in the 1960s, which transformed their performance. Indeed, the selection of the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft was probably the highlight of what would have been yet another quiet year for the helicopter industry."

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/aircraft-propulsion/growing-rotorcraft-industry-faces-regulatory-supply-chain-issues
It's certainly going to redefine planning for our opponents... Going from "The US has helicopters that can do 100 knots loaded over a ~50 mile radius" to "The US has tiltrotors that do 300 knots loaded over a ~150 mile radius" is going to complicate their defensive schemes for a long time.
 
More than so: discreet redeployment will be on par with CONU based operations.
Imagine then that production Valor are coupled with autonomous flight researchs. Long short haul flight across south Atlantic or hoping island to island across the pacific would then be achievable. Meaning that your footprint prior to launching an air assault will be down to the minimal: a forward air base/improvised landing strip (you just fly the troops in a C-17 while Valor comes their own way).
Then revisit Operation Eagle Claws with this new concept...

And Carter get reelected.
 
It's certainly going to redefine planning for our opponents... Going from "The US has helicopters that can do 100 knots loaded over a ~50 mile radius" to "The US has tiltrotors that do 300 knots loaded over a ~150 mile radius" is going to complicate their defensive schemes for a long time.

In terms of GBAD that's barely a noticeable change. In fact it could make their life easier without the Doppler confusion that helicopters can cause. And the RCS of those massive props...
 
In terms of GBAD that's barely a noticeable change. In fact it could make their life easier without the Doppler confusion that helicopters can cause. And the RCS of those massive props...
GBAD is easier, but ground army planning just got a lot uglier, since the US can now move a battalion 150 miles or more in half an hour.
 
I'm excited to see what solution they come up with to protect the guts of the nacelles from small arms fire.
View attachment 711365
All that orange wiring is test instrumentation. Once they confirm that engines are performing smoothly, that orange wiring will be deleted from production examples.
 
All that orange wiring is test instrumentation. Once they confirm that engines are performing smoothly, that orange wiring will be deleted from production examples.
Also, I would imagine that the Army has pointed out to Bell that the open nacelle might be worthy of further consideration.
 
All that orange wiring is test instrumentation. Once they confirm that engines are performing smoothly, that orange wiring will be deleted from production examples.
Sure, test instrumentation is always orange. However, V-280 is a technology demonstrator. The prototype aircraft that will later become the production version will be completely different, including different engines!
 

Bell requested soldier-touch-points before the program award. I believe they had three. These really assisted, especially with the maintainability of the platform.
 

Bell requested soldier-touch-points before the program award. I believe they had three. These really assisted, especially with the maintainability of the platform.
Bluntly, if you aren't having your end users doing their usual things with your prototypes, you're screwing up.

Sometimes, this can lead you down a wrong path, but that's rare. Wrong path like the super-adjustable Desert Tech MDR gas block on early rifles. Too many positions, none of them really in the right spot for milsurp ammunition.
 
Did they genuinely fix the issue with the forward ejection on that mdr?
Issue was never with forward ejection, issue was gas port sizes. Took some work on the engineers side, but the retests on InRangeTV showed 100% reliability with only 3x settings: Normal, Adverse, and Suppressed.
 
Just one of those guys that looked at the accident record of the MV-22 during development and early operational introduction and utterly refuses to accept the reality that those accident rates (which were already lower than what the CH-46 had experienced) have been significantly reduced in the 15 years it has been in operational service.

But he does have a point that you were trying to present the V-280's unfolded height & footprint as the representing the final production product... when ALL of the information released shows that production V-280s will have folding capability for at a minimum air-transport, and most-likely normal operational use (just like the USAF's CV-22As all have folding capability despite not seeing the deck of an LHA/LHD except during very specific training scenarios).

The USAF specified folding capability just for air-transport of their CV-22As - just as the US Army will for its V-280-derived combat aircraft.
That's nonsense. The CV-22 is over 18 feet high when folded. The maximum a C-5 will take is 13'6".
 
My understanding is that one of the critiques of this program is that because the aircraft can't fit in a C-17, like the V-22 it has an self deploy requirement which is loosely California -> Hawaii without refueling.

While no doubt doable, my best wishes (and condolences) to to the crew
 
My understanding is that one of the critiques of this program is that because the aircraft can't fit in a C-17, like the V-22 it has an self deploy requirement which is loosely California -> Hawaii without refueling.

While no doubt doable, my best wishes (and condolences) to to the crew

I would not call that a critique so much as an asset. The Army specifically wanted an aircraft that can self-deploy in the Pacific without relying on airlift, which is slow and will be in high demand for other cargoes.
 
I would not call that a critique so much as an asset. The Army specifically wanted an aircraft that can self-deploy in the Pacific without relying on airlift, which is slow and will be in high demand for other cargoes.

An asset for what scenario? The big threats in the pacific don't see much a need for long-range movement of helicopters. We're not island hopping in the pacific - we're playing A2AD, which is all about the availability of seaborne heavy lift in order to emplace assets.

From a colleague who flew helicopters in the Marines - he described it as a death trap, as the plan for those guys is to literally have them sitting inside an aircraft with a massive internal fuel bladder for 12+hours, while wearing dry suits and having some sort of deployable life raft that to chill out in for a few days while you wait for a rescue.

Good programs need good requirements - and this is one I'd cut.
 
Current Army aircraft have a radius of action of 90-100NM. This is completely inadequate for the Pacific, not even discussing the self-deployment requirement.

Not island hoping? I don't think one gets to decide that.
 
Current Army aircraft have a radius of action of 90-100NM. This is completely inadequate for the Pacific, not even discussing the self-deployment requirement.

Not island hoping? I don't think one gets to decide that.
Strategy should inform capabilities, and capabilities drive requirements.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Long-Range_Assault_Aircraft

For the pacific, I think the USMC have the right requirements (max out combat radius, zero out ferry radius). If I was the Army, I'd adopt those reqts plus the cabin volume for a 12 man squad.

That said, I'm aware the the USMC's new island hopping strategy is considered 'controversial'.
 
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The Army FLRAA has a requirement for 12 (10 troop and 2 leaders). While the Army does not have an "island hoping" mission as a doctrine, it does have an over the horizon air assault mission, which is not attainable in the Pacific with current platforms. It also has a Title 10 requirements to provide logistics support in the Pacific and security for Joint forces. Those will be spread out over the islands and if you look at any of the Archipelagos, they are many places that have water in excess of 100 miles between islands.

Then there is money. You build what you can buy. It is not a fun process, trust me. So, sure, strategy should inform capabilities, but capabilities money drive(s) requirements. Then everyone sits in their comfortable chairs and complains about how the requirements writers screwed up.

As to the V-22, it has a better safety record that the aircraft it replaced. I will not claim so but I think it has a better that Blackhawk (a.k.a. "Lawn Dart" and "Crashhawk" for a number of years). It can accomplish the mission it was designed for. In fact the USMC developed units around the capability for global rapid response.
 
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