Monday, August 29, 2016

Bell’s V-247, Armed Tiltrotor Drone For Marines

A sleek little model sits on the desk of Lt. Gen. Jon “Dog” Davis, Marine deputy commandant for aviation. What is that, we asked? The next tiltrotor Bell Helicopter Textron hopes the Marine Corps will buy. But it’s not the V-280 Valor, the new manned tiltrotor Bell plans to fly next year. It’s an unmanned tiltrotor designed to give the Marines a drone that can do everything the Air Force’s armed MQ-9 Reaper does – and more. Especially taking off and landing from ships or from land where there’s no runway.
“I think there is a big need for a UAS that can go aboard the sea base,” Davis told me in an interview last week. “General Neller says he doesn’t need a Reaper, but he needs a Reaper-like capability that can go from the sea base.” Gen. Robert Neller is the Marine Corps commandant.
“This is what Bell is proposing,” Davis says, placing the model of Bell’s new concept on the table. “Single engine. It looks a lot like a V-280, doesn’t it?”  more