A promising American V-280 Valor, developed by Bell Helicopter, made its first flight on an airplane flight on May 15, 2018. According to Defense News, during these tests the aircraft developed a speed of 190 knots (about 352 kilometers per hour).
Convertoplanes, aircraft with rotary propellers, combine the positive qualities of helicopters and aircraft: they are capable of vertical takeoff and landing and a rapid horizontal flight. At the same time, this technique is difficult to manage – convertoplanes lose stability during the transition from helicopter flight mode to aircraft.
Details of the tests are not disclosed. Probably, experts checked the transit mode of flight during the transition from “helicopter” configuration to “aircraft” and back. Also, the work of the on-board equipment and the rotation mechanisms of the propellers was evaluated.
In total, to date, the V-280 has been in the air for 27 hours. The convertoplan has already undergone ground tests, made several flights in the helicopter mode, including, with a slight inclination of the propellers. In addition, specialists checked the operation of the on-board equipment of the device.
The V-280 is being developed as part of the JMR tender as a new army transport vehicle intended for the rapid transfer of fighters and cargo over long distances. According to the requirements of the military, such a device should be capable of vertical takeoff and landing.
The Valor project was introduced in the spring of 2013, and its ground tests began at the end of July 2017. It is expected that this device will be able to fly at speeds of up to 519 kilometers per hour, and its combat radius will be 1,5 thousand kilometers.
In mid-March this year, it became known that a consortium of US companies Sikorsky and Boeing began ground testing of airborne equipment, units and assemblies of the advanced high-speed multipurpose helicopter SB> 1 Defiant. He will compete with V-280 at the JMR tender. In parallel, the assembly of the first flight sample SB> 1, which will make the first flight at the end of the summer of 2018, is being completed.