The Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor still hasn’t made its first public flight. But the Future Vertical Lift prototype program
is progressing. It recently achieved controlled conversion from 95- to 75-deg pylon and back. (Video courtesy of Bell Helicopter.)
According to Bell, the aircraft will continue ground-run testing at the manufacturer’s Amarillo, Texas, assembly center. It is set to undergo a series of functional tests, running all aircraft systems and flight controls, in preparation for first flight. That first flight is still scheduled to happen before the end of the year.
The V-280 demonstrated 100% rotor rpm last month, having had its build completed in September. Bell’s program is years ahead of the U.S. Army-led FVL program.