Bell V-280 Valor to Land, Roll, and Brake Using French-Made Gear

It's not long now until the Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft enters operation, bringing an end to a decades-old reign in this segment for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Testing of the aircraft is proceeding at a fast pace, and now Bell has begun assigning contracts for the various pieces of hardware that will make it into this strange helicopter-like machine.
Bell V-280 Valor 7 photos
Photo: Bell
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This week, Bell said it selected France-based multinational corporation Safran Landing Systems to be the supplier of the gear the helicopter would need while on the ground. More to the point, Safran will be making the main landing gear, tail landing gear, wheels and brakes, extension/retraction system, steering, and indication sensors.

Even if it is only now that the supplier of these elements for the production version of the aircraft was chosen, the V-280 has been at it in prototype form for some time now. After first taking off in 2017, the Valor reached the 200 hours in the air milestone at the end of last year.

Its maker describes the aircraft as twice as fast and as capable as other vertical lift machines. Available info points to it being able to reach a top speed of 345 mph (555 kph) and fly for as much as 575 miles (925 km) on a single outing.

When ready, the Valor will need a crew of four and will be capable of carrying an additional 12 soldiers. In cargo configuration, it will be capable of transporting either on the inside or on the outside payloads weighing as much as 12,000 lbs (5.4 metric tons).

Bell and its partner in developing the tiltrotor, Lockheed Martin, will make it in such a way as to be able to accommodate both offensive and defensive weapons. Aerial refueling is also something the V-280 Valor will be capable of doing.

For now, there is no official date set for it to enter service.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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