Bell V-280 Valor Takes Flight For First Time Written 21 December 2017

FlightGlobal reported that Bell Helicopter’s prototype V-280 Valor tiltrotror “lifted vertically off the ground and hovered in ground effect for the first time this week.” The helicopter “performed basic handling tests in hover mode outside Bell’s tiltrotor production site in Amarillo, Texas, including a rapid pedal turn.” Bell also tested the aircraft’s “gearboxes, actuation, software and rotors.” Bell Helicopter Vice President of Advanced Tiltrotor Systems Keith Flail said, “The exciting thing to me is the integration of those and how the air vehicle as a whole is behaving.” The V-280 is “tracking well ahead of Sikorsky-Boeing’s SB-1 Defiant in the US Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstration (JMR-TD).” The SB-1 was “expected to fly this fall, but Boeing has pushed first flight until early 2018.” The Valor “builds on the heritage” of the company’s V-22 Osprey, but “features improvements such as a straight wing and fixed nacelles” that “decreased manufacturing costs by eliminating the need for a mid-wing gearbox.” 
More Info (FlightGlobal)