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The Army's Black Hawk Replacement is One Step Closer To Dropping You Off At Fort Bragg
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.
While the footage released by Bell doesn't show the actual rotor transition (which remains one of the coolest things I, a nasty civilian, have ever seen), the company assured Task & Purpose that the cruise-mode video "means the prop-rotors moved to zero degrees for forward flight" without a hitch, adding that the company plans on "gradually expanding the flight envelope" to achieve a target goal of 280 knots in line with its “V-280” designation — twice the speed of the Black Hawk.
First selected in 2014 for the Army’s Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator, the V-280 is expected to offer a major upgrade to the branch’s rotary aircraft fleet beyond simple speed. With an estimated a range of up to 800 nautical miles, space for 14 armed warfighters, and load capacity of more than 12,000 pounds, the tilt-rotor aircraft was designed to haul 23% more troops and 25% more cargo than the conventional utility helicopter.
Bell's V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft conducts its first cruise in Amarillo, Texas, on May 11, 2018.Bell Helicopter
More important, though, is the matter of confidence in the platform. Given the U.S. military's uneasy relationship with the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, seeing the Valor in action beats the hell of simply reading about its current 90+ hours of rotor turn.
“The V-280 Valor is quickly and consistently demonstrating the maturity of its technology and the overmatch capabilities it will bring to the warfighter,” Keith Flail, the Bell vice president responsible for overseeing tiltrotor technology development, said in a statement. “This first cruise mode flight is another exciting step in our efforts to deliver revolutionary capability for warfighters at a sustainable cost and years ahead of current schedule projections."
"We will continue to expand the envelope in terms of speed, range, agility, and our other key performance parameters, and continue to bring the proof," he added. "Our warfighters deserve and need the best our nation can provide and this revolutionary, affordable, sustainable capability is ready to go.”
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Military families are suing their private housing provider over 'rampant mold infestation' at Fort Meade
Ten military families are taking their privatized housing provider, Corvias, to court over "appalling housing conditions and cavalier treatment" at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by law firm Covington & Burling —which is handling the lawsuit pro bono, according to their press release — details "distressingly similar stories of poorly maintained infrastructure leading to serious problems, such as mold growing on walls, windows, and pipes," at the the installation.
The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. The defendants identified include Corvias Management-Army LLC and Meade Communities, LLC, which is a part of Corvias.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
A system that intercepts enemy rockets and a brand-new munition? Tank you very much.
The Navy is looking into the possibility of sending explosive ordnance disposal units on shorter and possibly more frequent deployments, service officials said on Wednesday.
Right now, EOD techs train for 18 months and deploy for another six months as part of their optimized fleet response plan, but the Navy is conducting a review of that training and deployment cycle, Navy officials told reporters.
A Navy analysis is looking at whether EOD techs should spend a total of 32 or 36 months training and deployed per cycle, said Capt. Oscar Rojas, who leads Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1 in San Diego.