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Helicopter News

Army Envisions Multiple Future Vertical Lift Aircraft; Not Treating Industry Offerings As Prototypes

As industry readies its experimental vertical-lift aircraft for Army evaluation, aviation officials have made clear they do not consider the two Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrators (JMR-TD) to be prototypes of future helicopters.Maj. Gen. William Gayler, chief of the Army Aviation Center of Excellence (AACE) said Bell Helicopter’s V-280 Valor next-generation tiltrotor and the SB-1 Defiant…

Bell Completes Construction Of V-280 Valor Tiltrotor Prototype

Bell Helicopter has completed construction of its first V-280 advanced tiltrotor prototype that is being prepared to fly later in 2017.The V-280 Valor program has achieved 100 percent build completion on the prototype aircraft and is preparing for an initial ground run at the company’s Amarillo, Texas, assembly center.“We remain focused on providing exceptional flexibility…

Lack Of Common Architecture Lengthens Ground Time For Army Choppers Getting Upgrades

When the Army buys new gear for its helicopters, the acquisition community and industry view it as adding capability to an existing platform, but actually integrating new sensors and weapons often grounds fleets that are in high operational demand.Without government-defined standard architectures, emerging technologies often require extensive rewiring to mount on legacy aircraft, said Maj.…

State Department Approves Upgrade Program For Australian MH-60R Aircraft

The State Department on Aug. 31 said it has approved a potential 10-year $360 million upgrade program for 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopters used by Australia’s navy mainly for anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions.The aircraft were delivered between 2013 and 2016 as part of a $3 billion Foreign Military Sale (FMS).The follow-on FMS contract would…