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Bell introduces new VTOL designs for military applications

Bell HSVTOL designs
Photo: Bell

Bell Textron has unveiled design concepts for new vertical take-off and landing aircraft systems for military applications.

The company says the designs use its high-speed vertical take-off and landing (HSVTOL) technology, in line with its continued innovation in the area of vertical lift aircraft.

Bell is one of the participants of the US Army’s future vertical lift (FVL) program, which will acquire the next generation of assault and reconnaissance vertical lift aircraft.

HSVTOL technology blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed, range and survivability features of a fighter aircraft.

“Bell’s HSVTOL technology is a step change improvement in rotorcraft capabilities,” said Jason Hurst, vice president, Innovation. “Our technology investments have reduced risk and prepared us for rapid development of HSVTOL in a digital engineering environment, leveraging experience from a robust past of technology exploration and close partnerships with the Department of Defense and Research Laboratories.”

Bell says its HSVTOL design concepts feature low downwash hover capability, jet-like cruise speeds over 400 kts, and runway independence and hover endurance. The designs range from 4,000 lbs. to over 100,000 lbs in gross weights, and can perform missions from unmanned personnel recovery to tactical mobility.

Bell notes it has explored high-speed vertical lift aircraft technology for more than 85 years, pioneering innovative VTOL configurations like the X-14, X-22, XV-3 and XV-15 for NASA, the US Army and US Air Force. The lessons learned from the XV-3 and XV-15 supported the development of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, which is in service with the militaries of the US and Japan.