Bell Helicopter [TXT] May 5 revealed cooperative agreements with three new partners–Meggitt, Eaton
[ETN], and Astronics [ATRO]–for the team developing the V-280 Valor, the company’s offering for the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program.
“Team Valor continues to align interests and resources on this clean sheet design, together delivering technology and innovation that reduces cost, weight and complexity in order to make the next generation of tiltrotor technology more affordable,” said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopterm, in a statement at the Army Aviation Association of America Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville, Tenn.
The JMR-TD program is the initial science and technology portion of the Defense Department’s Future Vertical Lift program that is expected to replace 2,000 to 4,000 medium-class utility and attack helicopters. The Army and DoD want leap-ahead capabilities and have identified a speed of 230+ knots as a key discriminating capability. The current fleet cruises at 140 knots.
In October 2013, the Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center said Bell, AVX Aircraft Company, Karem Aircraft Inc., and Sikorsky Aircraft [UTC] were each awarded Technology Investment Agreements for a Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator (TD) Phase 1.
Bell said power management company Eaton will be providing the hydraulic system support for the V-280 Valor. Eaton’s reliable products and proven technologies for the V-280 hydraulic system support power generation, fluid control and fluid distribution, and includes engine driven pumps, reservoirs, fuses, hoses, quick disconnects, tubing and the main engine starting subsystem, Bell said in a statement. Uday Yadav, president of Eaton’s Aerospace Group, said: “Eaton’s selection as the V-280 hydraulic system supplier is based on our extensive track record of providing reliable, cost-effective solutions for next-generation aircraft. Our expertise in hydraulic system design, development and integration will help Bell Helicopter and Team Valor produce a revolutionary aircraft that strengthens the U.S. Army’s operational capabilities.”
Meggitt Inc. signed a cooperative agreement to provide the fuel system.
Kevin Shaffer, global marketing director for Meggitt Polymers & Composite, said: “This program allows Meggitt to showcase its ability to design and produce complete aviation fuel systems after a long history pioneering the ballistically-resistant fuel tanks carried by nearly every U.S. military aircraft in service today.”
Astronics Advanced Electric Systems is on board to design and manufacture the V-280s power distribution systems.
Kellsey Justus, vice president of Astronics product line, said: “Astronics is very proud to be selected as a teaming partner on the Bell V-280 program. Building on our successful work on the Bell 525 and 505 programs, Astronics will be providing the primary and secondary electrical power distribution system for the V-280 tiltrotor. We are pleased to continue our relationship with Bell by participating in this exciting program that sets the stage for the future of vertical lift and the latest innovations in power distribution technology.”
In October 2013, Bell tapped GE Aviation [GE], Moog [MOG.A and MOG.B], GKN Aerospace, and Lockheed Martin [LMT] as V-280 Valor team members.