Bell Installs T901 Improved Turbine Engine

The Army recently delivered the T901 Improved Turbine Engine to Bell Textron Inc’s Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas, signaling the start of the next stage in its Future Attack and Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) competition.

With the engine in hand, the Bell team has hit the ground running and have installed it on the Bell 360 Invictus competitive prototype. Since beginning the build in late 2020, Bell and Team Invictus have made great progress and had completed 96% of the competitive prototype by early 2023. Now that the engine has been received and installed, the team is moving closer to first flight later next year.

As Bell prepares for flight tests, the T901 engine, also a new development program, is still progressing through developmental testing with GE for the Army and has an expected clearance for flight in 2024.

On the way to first flight for the Bell 360, there are some crucial steps that must be completed to ensure the safe and rapid execution of a flight test program. That includes functionally testing the aircraft, the Test Readiness Review and conducting restrained ground runs. This work will occur concurrently as the Army completes final testing for flight using the T901.

The engine installation marks a key milestone for the Bell 360 Invictus. With an eye toward first flight, Bell and Team Invictus are ready to demonstrate how the Bell 360 can transform the Army’s reconnaissance mission with more speed, reach, and lethality.

Jasmine Tillman

Military: Future Vertical Lift
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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.

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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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