Bell has announced the delivery of a high-speed vertical takeoff and landing (HSVTOL) test equipment to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, as the company seeks to evaluate new technology.

The Bell team will make use of the Arnold Engineering Development Complex Holloman High Speed Test Track to test the folding rotor, integrated propulsion and flight control technologies at representative flight speeds.

Bell plans for the test article to execute a series of HSVTOL high-speed transition manoeuvres, a first of its kind capability for vertical lift aircraft.

Next generation of HSVTOL aircraft

“The HSVTOL test article delivery and start of sled testing operations serves as a major milestone in our mission to develop the next generation of high-speed vertical lift aircraft,” said Jason Hurst, Bell’s executive vice president of engineering.

“Bell plans to showcase HSVTOL technology informed by more than 85 years of high-speed rotorcraft development and leverage lessons learned to produce a flying prototype with game-changing capabilities.”

Bell said the objective its sled test operations is to validate key technologies through a full-scale, integrated demonstration in a representative operating environment.

Bell flight research centre

Prior to delivery at Holloman Air Force Base, Bell successfully completed functional demonstrations at Bell’s flight research centre.

Bell’s High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) technology blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed (400+ kts), range, and survivability of jet aircraft.

Bell has developed high-speed vertical lift technology for more than 85 years, pioneering innovative VTOL configurations like the X-14, X-22, XV-3 and XV-15 for NASA, the US Army and US Air Force, and continues to build on its proven history of fast flight from the Bell X-1.
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