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Video - Bell Helicopter brings out the big guns: The V-280 Valor

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Safely stored in a hangar at the Farnborough Air Show is Bell’s future V-280: a cross between a plane and a helicopter. «280», for the 280 knots or over 320 mph speed that it will easily be able to achieve.

Right from the first glance, the machine is an impressive beast. It spans over 85 feet, has a V-shaped vertical stabilizer and to top it all, three bladed tiltable rotors that each measure 36 feet.

The display here is only a life-size model, but the first test aircraft is well and truly taking shape.

Steve Mathias, Director global business development Advanced Tiltrotor Systems – Bell Helicopter: watch the interview in the video.

60% of the assembly work is finished. Initially, this machine is intended for troop transport. It can fit 14 soldiers in addition to the two pilots. The maximum range of just over 930 miles can be extended thank thanks to a refuelling boom located at the front of the plane.

For now, the V-280 is only a technology demonstrator. Bell Helicopter, together with eleven partners are hoping to convince the US Army. It’s a colossal potential market.

Steve Mathias, Director global business development Advanced Tiltrotor Systems – Bell Helicopter: watch the interview in the video.

The unofficial price tag for these is 30 million dollars each, for a potential contract value of $120 billion. Enough to send Bell Helicopter and the V-280 sky high.

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