Bell Textron has announced a collaboration with fellow American aerospace firm Pratt & Whitney on the US Air Force High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) program.
Bell is among 11 companies from over 200 entrants to receive market research funding for HSVTOL development.
According to the Texas-based firm, Pratt & Whitney will provide cutting-edge propulsion solutions to support the aircraft.
“HSVTOL propulsion technology is one of the key technical areas to develop for future capability, and we’re thrilled to leverage expertise from Pratt & Whitney to explore ways to mature technology for these concepts,” Bell director Lee Anderson said.
Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney official Steven Burd said that its propulsion system would allow Bell to showcase “next generation” HSVTOL capabilities for the US Air Force.
Bell Textron’s concept for the HSVTOL program would blend the low downwash hover capability of a helicopter with the speed of a fighter aircraft, reaching 400 knots (740 kilometers/460 miles per hour).
It would have the range and survivability of a combat jet for increased tactical mobility.
The HSVTOL will be designed to support a variety of missions, including personnel recovery, strike, and autonomous intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
Bell is confident that its pitch for the program would emerge as a “top-tier entrant” since it would meet or exceed rigorous technical merit, reliability, and scalability requirements.
“Bell’s teams will continue to lay the groundwork for the production of another revolutionary military aircraft and provide USSOCOM and the US Air Force with conceptual designs and development roadmaps to accelerate this capability to the warfighter,” company vice president Jason Hurst stressed.
Apart from Bell Textron, other companies involved in the HSVTOL project are American Aerospace Engineering, Astro Aerospace, Continuum Dynamics, and Valkyrie.