An artist's depiction of the S-97 Raider light tactical prototype (Lockheed Martin)
Undeterred by decades of failure, the U.S. Army is trying again to acquire a new scout helicopter. The new rotorcraft is supposed to restore the dedicated aerial scout mission the Army gave up when in 2017 it retired its roughly 300 Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior copters.
And here's a surprise. The new Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft also will replace half of the ground-combat branch's 700 Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.
Aviation Week reporter Stephen Trimble was the first to report the news. Joseph Trevithick at The War Zone piled on.
On June 29, U.S. Navy crews completed the first comprehensive initial operational test and evaluation of the MQ-8C Fire Scout, an unmanned helicopter the Navy hopes will increase the lethality of the service's new littoral combat ships.
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.
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.
Bell Helicopter’s advanced V-280 Valor tiltrotor prototype, developed to replace the iconic AH-64 Apache attack chopper and UH-60 Black Hawk utility copter in the Army’s fleet of rotary aircraft, is “100%” complete and ready for its maiden flight before the end of 2017, the company announced on Sept. 6.