Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bell V-280 does 190 knots. Should we be impressed?

via Defense News.
Bell’s V-280 Valor tilt-rotor demonstrator has now flown in cruise mode, reaching 190 knots.

To achieve cruise mode, the rotors in the V-280 pivot from vertical lift to fully forward-facing. While the company reached 190 knots in recent flight tests, it will continue to expand the envelope until it reaches an expected speed of 280 knots, a company spokesman told Defense News on May 15.

The aircraft is part of the Joint Multi-Role Demonstration program that will inform the U.S. military on requirements for a fleet of future helicopters expected to come online, possibly before 2030.
Story here. 

Should we be impressed?  190 knots? 


They're doing a crawl, walk, run type build up and this thing is in the air doing its thing!

Hate to say it cause I like the Sikorsky Defiant too and think it could provide a capability that the V-280 doesn't...but its not doing work right now.

It's kinda stuck in the starting gate.

Not a fan of tiltrotors for assault (unless they've changed descent speed to something approaching that of conventional helicopters when hitting an LZ) but the advance in tech is noteworthy.

Which leads me to a last question.

Is there some kind of unknown (to me) aerodynamic law that makes smaller tiltrotors better?  Just thinking about the history of this stuff and the XV-15 was a tilt rotor but it was small.  So were many that came before.  When we originally went larger with the XCH-142 we went to tilt wings (wish they're modernize that design and bring it back with modern engines).

Is it about aerodynamics and some other rules I just don't know about or is it something else?

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