Beyond Expectation: The Bell V-280 Valor Delivers Results

As the U.S. Army-led Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR TD) program wraps up, Bell’s revolutionary tiltrotor continues to turn heads with outstanding performance and shines a spotlight on the benefits of modernization. 

After two-years of highly successful flight demonstrations the Bell V-280 Valor continues to showcase new capabilities to show how the aircraft meets the challenges of future fights. The aircraft has flown more than 150 hours through multi-sortie test days and numerous public demonstrations to deliver data and inform requirements for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.

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“The V-280 and flight test program teams’ performances have gone above and beyond expectation,” said Keith Flail, vice president of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell. “Our team of defense-aerospace technology and manufacturing experts demonstrated the ability to deliver a high-performance aircraft on schedule that will revolutionize U.S. military vertical lift capability. We are very proud of this track record and look forward to competing for the U.S. Army FLRAA program.”

The V-280 and flight test program teams’ performances have gone above and beyond expectation Keith Flail, Vice President of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell

In 2019 alone, Team Valor and the V-280 program team have delivered performance milestones beyond expectations. 2019 milestones include:

  • Speed > 300 kts
  • Hover Out of Ground Effect (HOGE) > 6,000 feet altitude at 95º F
  • Low speed agility to meet the Army’s Level 1 Handling Qualities requirements
  • Executed numerous, consecutive multi-sortie days of flight operations  
  • Test flights with Army pilots

Flight testing did not simply focus on demonstrating engineering maneuvers. The team understands the V-280 must be suitable for use in multi-domain operations as well. To that end, the V-280 has integrated the Lockheed Martin Pilotage Distributed Aperture System (PDAS) mission equipment package and has flown operationally focused tests showing fast rope deployment options. Looking forward, testing will include additional mission equipment package integration, sling load tests and a demonstration of autonomous flight.


Unprecedented flight performance is only part of the equation for FLRAA to be a successful program. Bell continues to analyze and test options to improve future fleet affordability and sustainment lifecycle cost. The team has undertaken initiatives to address cost-drivers inherent in operational aircraft by employing the latest digital technologies to optimize affordability throughout the fleet’s lifecycle.

In addition to performance achievements, the V-280 has also continued to be recognized for excellence from independent organizations. For example, the National Aeronautic Association nominated the V-280 for the prestigious Collier Trophy and Aviation Week has recognized the V-280 with a Laureate Award for the 2nd consecutive year.

These results continue to show national leaders that the JMR TD program has been a great example of government-industry partnership. The success of the JMR TD effort offers the Army an opportunity to leverage technologies proven over the past six years to inform a program of record and get new capabilities fielded in line with the Army’s modernization strategy. The V-280 demonstrates that close collaboration between government and industry can deliver transformational capabilities in a rapid and sustainable process.

“Bell is committed to our customers. Our talented employees are innovators who have reimagined how vertical lift can help modernize the Army with the V-280 Valor. We are proud of what the V-280 and Team Valor have achieved in 6 short years and look forward to building on our success to bring next generation capability to the warfighter in the coming years,” continued Flail.

Our talented employees are innovators who have reimagined how vertical lift can help modernize the Army with the V-280 Valor.  Keith Flail, Vice President of Advanced Vertical Lift Systems at Bell

As the competition for the U.S. Army’s Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft moves forward, Bell and Team Valor continue to set the pace.

To see updates on the V-280 Valor and learn more on the capabilities, please visit the Bell V-280 page, and follow us on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

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