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Re: V-280 Valor flies for the first time

Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:22 am

Nomadd wrote:
Anybody thinking that the extra speed isn't a major thing can spend a few hours under fire, waiting for support to show. Rapid response has never been more important than it is today.

Rapid response in this case isn’t just dictated by speed but also by numbers of airframes available. If we can build these things for the cost of an upgraded UH-60 and deploy them to rougher forward bases then sure it’s better. If numbers get slashed in half and we have to support them all at major airfields then you may not see much gain in many scenarios. Anyone care to guess what these things might cost?

You also have to be able to use he speed operationally. Tilted forward you have to fly like an airplane rather than move like a helicopter. That reduces your ability to use terrain to mask your movements making you somewhat more vulnerable than a standard helicopter if we are doing something anywhere we don’t have abject air dominance and total SEAD accomplished.

I can see the case for them in many roles. But I am doubtful on them replacing the large number of utility helicopters for the reasons above plus many others.
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Re: V-280 Valor flies for the first time

Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:35 pm

IADFCO wrote:
Interesting comment. New engines, no matter how advanced, will not let the UH-60 meet FVL/JMR speed requirements, but will indeed put pressure on showing that the extra speed is really needed and worth the extra cost and complexity.

To my knowledge the primary issue with current helicopters and speed always comes down to the advancing rotor going supersonic. A dual, counter-rotating set-up (coaxial etc.) eliminates the retreating rotor problem but the advancing rotor always contends with the supersonic problem. Pusher props and jets allow the rotors to be slowed and tilt rotors obviously eliminate the issue as well.

For a work horse, a conventional helo with a new engine will always win. but for speed, the search for a winner continues.

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Re: V-280 Valor flies for the first time

Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:58 am

The V-280 continues to progress through testing hitting 250kts and they are looking to get to 280kts next year. They have also flown 83 hours since last December which is quite a reasonable number for a single development aircraft at this stage.

Bell V-280 to focus on manoeuvrability after flying 250kt

Bell’s V-280 demonstration programme plans to continue to expand the tiltrotor’s flight envelope, with additional focus on manoeuvrability, after reaching 250kt this September.

So far, the aircraft has been tested on 50˚ banked turns at 200kt, which is the equivalent of 1.8g, says Vince Tobin, Bell executive vice-president for military business. During upcoming tests the manufacturer expects the aircraft to fly turns that generate more than 3g, he says.

The company has also been testing for about six months the aircraft’s ability to perform pirouette manoeuvres – flights where the tiltrotor spins around its center axis while remaining level and moving in a straight line.

“The aircraft is extremely agile in what we call helicopter mode,” says Tobin. “Even in significant wind conditions the aircraft has yaw and roll ability at low speeds that’s really unmatched.”

The company aims to push the rotorcraft to its 280kt top speed goal early next year.

This past fall the aircraft demonstrated a 4,500ft per minute (1,372m per minute) rate of climb.

“That’s due to the fact that you’ve got some relatively large engines from a horsepower perspective, and an airplane that’s just got lots of lift when you are using both the wings and rotor system,” says Tobin.

With about 83h of flight time on the V-280 since it first took flight in December 2017, Bell says it’s pointing out to the US Army that its tiltrotor has displayed a high level of readiness, making it a lower risk option should the service choose it for a production contract.

“We’ve been able to progress through the flight test programme and really not have anything not perform as we’ve expected it to perform,” says Tobin. “We’ve made significant progress. We’ve got a lot of hours flown. And most of that indicates the technology readiness level was pretty high and even at the manufacturing readiness level is high.” ... ng-454523/


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