Bell Helicopter's V-280 Valor (above video courtesy of Bell Helicopter) recently performed a ground run test at 100% rotor rotations per minute, Bell said Monday during the Association of the U.S. Army's convention in Washington, D.C. The manufacturer said first flight will occur before the end of the year.
The V-280 Valor is Bell's participation in the U.S. Army-led Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program to fulfill the Capability Set 3 requirement for a medium-lift aircraft. A Sikorsky-Boeing team is also participating, but its SB>1 Defiant is currently behind the V-280 program's pace.
Bell considers its new tiltrotor a competitive prototype, although the military has said it merely views the V-280 and SB>1 as technology demonstrators, as the program name suggests.