Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Bell tests game-changing HSVTOL technology

Bell, which manufactures helicopters, has showcased its cutting-edge High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) technology following successful testing at Holloman Air Force Base.

Utilizing the Holloman High Speed Test Track, the Bell’s team demonstrated groundbreaking folding rotor, integrated propulsion, and flight control technologies at representative flight speeds.

Jason Hurst, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Bell, described the completion of the sled test as a significant milestone in Bell’s HSVTOL research and technology development efforts. He emphasized the critical experience gained, which will inform the company’s participation in DARPA’s SPRINT program aimed at developing the next generation of high-speed vertical lift aircraft for future warfighters.

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The SPRINT program aims to create an experimental aircraft, known as an X-Plane, to showcase technologies and integrated concepts necessary for achieving a transformative combination of aircraft speed and runway independence in the realm of air mobility platforms.

Bell’s HSVTOL technology blends helicopter hover capability with jet-like speed, range, and survivability, offering a paradigm shift in vertical lift capability. The company’s scalable family of aircraft concepts is tailored to meet both current and future mission requirements, with features such as vertical, short, and conventional takeoff enhancing runway independence. Additionally, improved survivability and flexible payload configurations increase mission flexibility and performance compared to legacy platforms.

This breakthrough in vertical lift capability offers unparalleled runway independence and flexibility, enabling operations from a wide range of basing locations including conventional runways, damaged runways, austere land-based sites, and sea basing locations. Such adaptability empowers warfighters to rapidly respond to evolving operational needs with agility and precision.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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