We Talk V-280 Valor VS V-22 Osprey With Bell's Head Of Tiltrotor Systems
there seems to be a lot of questions surrounding Bell's V-280 Valor, including how it differs from the V-22 Osprey and how the company intends on making the case that its second iteration of tiltrotor technology should replace a large number of H-60 Black Hawk variants, along with other helicopters, to satisfy the Pentagon's ambitious Future Vertical Lift initiative. The V-280's primary competition exists in the form of Sikorsky's SB-1 Defiant coaxial rotor, pusher-compound helicopter. The V-280 recently transitioned into cruise mode, with its prop-rotors tilted fully forward, for the first time. The company lauds the fact that its prototype is flying and well into its testing regimen. Meanwhile, Sikorsky's SB-1 still hasn't taken to the skies after multiple delays. But a smaller derivative of the same technology, the S-97 Raider, has been flying for three years with a second prototype now on hand. Bell was more than willing to field our inquiries, with Keith Flail, Vice President, Advanced Tiltrotor Systems providing us with the company's official answers. The exchange provides a clearer view of what the Valor was designed to do and how it differs with its established forebearer, the Osprey, and to some extent, its competition. It also gives us an indication of where the design may migrate beyond the Pentagon's stated needs.
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