Bell begin V-280 assembley
Bell Helicopter has begun assembly of the first V-280 helicopter.
The work began in early June, with Spirit AeroSystems starting to build the helicopters cockpit and fuselage.
Bell are expecting delivery of the first fuselage at its Amarillo, Texas facility before the end of 2015.
“Spirit AeroSystems brings decades of composite manufacturing experience to the team which allows us to quickly build an aircraft like the V-280,” said Phil Anderson, Spirit AeroSystems senior vice president of Defense. “This is a major milestone for the technology demonstrator unit. Spirit AeroSystems is proud to be on Team Valor and we are excited to be designing and building the composite cabin and cockpit for the V-280.”
First flight of the V-280 Technology Demonstrator is expected in the second half of 2017.
“U.S. ground forces require significant increase in speed and range to operate against and strike adversary systems much deeper than existing platforms,” said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Business for Bell Helicopter. “That is the vision for Future Vertical Lift. The V-280 advanced technology tiltrotor provides the Department of Defense (DoD) with unmatched speed, range and payload for expeditionary maneuver to win these future conflicts. We are confident in the capability that the V-280 will provide, and we are proud to have Spirit AeroSystems adding their expertise to Team Valor and to the V-280. Spirit AeroSystems beginning major assembly on the V-280 fuselage brings this high-performance aircraft one step closer to completion.”