Tuesday, May 21, 2019

V-280 proves it has equal low speed-low altitude agility equal to the UH-60 Black Hawk...

via Breaking Defense.
 Bell says it’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor has met the Army’s requirement for low-speed, low-altitude agility, at least equaling the UH-60 Black Hawk it’s contending to replace. That’s the last major objective Bell set for itself in its test program, which is a year ahead of its archrival for the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft contract, the Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 Defiant.

Agility in particular is a critical criterion for an aircraft which must land troops quickly and precisely in tight quarters, even in high winds or under enemy fire, and swiftly zoom off again. Detractors of Bell’s trademark tiltrotor technology — such as Sikorsky — have argued that these wide-winged aircraft with their huge dual rotors sacrifice helicopter-style agility in the landing zone in their pursuit of airplane-like range and speed. While this test isn’t fine-grained enough to settle whether Bell’s V-280 is more or less maneuverable than the SB>1 Defiant, it does show that the tiltrotor at least meets the Army’s minimum standard, itself a high bar.
Story here. 

Wow.  I think the USMC just found its AH-1Z/UH-1Y replacement.  Add some pylons for weapons and gas and away we go.

Wonder how far along they are on a navalized variant.  I can see this being a nice ASW and rescue platform...

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