The competition to be the next Army helicopter is heating up. On June 20th, Sikorsky's S-97 Raider once again took flight completing a 90-minute demonstration, the first since an August 2017 crash caused by flight software errors grounded the program

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Just months after conducting its maiden flight with a 20-minute low hover and then demonstrating a speed of 80 knots, the advanced V-280 Valor tilt-rotor prototype has achieved an effective transition to cruise mode, hitting speeds up to 190 knots with its rotors smoothly transitioning between its hover and cruise configurations, according to announcement by Bell Helicopter on Tuesday — a major step forward for the experimental airframe that may end up replacing the UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters in the U.S. Army's fleet.

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Photo via Bell Helicopter

After years in development, the future of vertical lift has finally arrived on the Army’s doorstep: Bell Helicopter’s advanced V-280 Valor tiltrotor prototype finally took its maiden flight at a test facility in Amarillo, Texas, the company announced on Dec. 18 — a major milestone for a next-gen aircraft designed to meld the tactical maneuverability of the branch’s current rotary fleet with the range and force projection of fixed-wing troop transports.

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Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Clayton Weiss, U.S. Navy.

Editor's note: This is the final installation of "Facing the Future: Military matters facing the next president," a five-part series by Stars and Stripes.

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Image via Bell

Editor’s Note: This article by Hope Hodge Seck originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

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