Bell Helicopter and Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. have started assembling the fuselage for the Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor. The delivery of the first completed fuselage to the Bell Helicopter facility in Amarillo, Texas is expected later this year, and the Technology Demonstrator's first flight is planned for the second half of 2017. The Valor is Bell's submission to the U.S. Army-led Joint Multi-Role Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program, a precursor to the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, in which commercial companies have been enlisted to develop next-generation rotorcraft to replace some 2,000 to 4,000 medium-class utility and attack helicopters. Requirements of the program include achieving a speed of 230+ knots (as opposed to 140 knots, the cruising speed of current rotorcraft fleets.)
The formation of Team Valor was led by Bell Helicopter, and the team includes: Lockheed Martin, Spirit AeroSystems, Astronics, Eaton, General Electric, GKN Aerospace, Israel Aerospace Industries, Lord, Meggitt, Moog, and TRU Simulation and Training.
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