Army picks Black Hawk replacement - V-280

So who will be the first to come out with a model of it?

Bell Textron’s Valor wins Army’s FLRAA competition to replace Black Hawk - Breaking Defense


hopefully in 1/35.

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I wonder what the Nightstalkers variant will look like…? :thinking:

There is a proposed attack version.


I recall reading an article in Playboy circa early1970’s (yeah, I was actually reading articles and not just looking at the pics! :rofl:) predicting future warfare combining vertol troop carriers and attack aircraft. Of course, the article also had a very large dramatic illustration of a proposed attack.
:grin: :canada:


Who will come out with a kit first? Probably not Tamiya, they don’t seem to do helicopters.

Personally I do like tilt rotors. More speed and more range possible in the type than in a straight old chopper. But I wonder how much larger an LZ that these will need compared to a Blackhawk. I’ve been on a Blackhawk in some tight spots that I don’t think one of these would fit.

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I was thinking the same thing but wasn’t quite sure how to word it. What’s the width of this thing including rotors? And how does that compare with a Blackhawk or even Chinook?

Although it’s still a concept at this stage, I would also assume that it would have to tilt the rotors to fire any of those missiles? Doesn’t look like much clearance from the props.

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I suppose I’ll be odd man out on this particular concept design, as already mentioned, the rocket armament is questionable if not downright frightening, rockets/missiles have a known tendency to corkscrew off the launch rail which would definitely collide with the propeller at level flight unless the firing/ignition system was devised to drop then accelerate. There doesn’t appear to be a substantial increase in troop carrying capacity compared to what’s already available, and what are the survivable consequences of an engine failure? This is one of those innovative designs that the engineers will make happen just to prove it can be done. Your tax dollars at work once again. :smirk:

Cajun :crocodile:


Well, welcome to the future. It is new times, new designs, new wars. I am not particularly fond of most of them (designs and wars that is…), I always liked having different kinds of fighters, bombers, u-boat killers, copters, whatever. Even though I am pleased that the Swiss government decided to go with the F-35 and I am sure to add this jet to my stash, can’t wait to see a F-35 flying over my head.

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Good point! I relooked at the pictures after your comment and I now wonder the same…hmmm, do the missiles “drop” before igniting versus launching forward from the rails?

Anyway you look at this, it is pretty slick and sleek.


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If you look closer at the pic showing the rockets, they appear to be well outside and below the rotor disk. It shouldn’t be a problem and I’m sure the designers took the rotors into consideration.

Additionally, it is about the same size as a Black Hawk.

Based on a Bell graphic, the V-280’s specs are as follows:

  • Overall length, rotors turning: 51 ft (UH-60 = 65 ft)
  • Fuselage length: 51 ft (UH-60 = 50 ft)
  • Overall width, rotors turning: 80 ft (UH-60 = 54 ft)
  • Rotor diameter: 35 ft (UH-60 = 54 ft)


I think possibly Italeri will do a demo bird like the did with the V-22 unless that left a sour taste.


A bit misleading here in this diagram. The fuselages should be lined up in the same manner for a true comparison as to footprint. Troops load and offload from the side on both types, as there is no tail ramp on this thing like on a CH-46/47 or V-22. On those the rear can be parked over a tight spot and insertion/extraction into a tight spot accomplished. Using this bird or the H-60 family, the footprint of the LZ requires a wider location. The tight spots that I’ve been in on Blackhawks would have ruled the new type out due to width limitations.
It’s certainly a trade off. The next one will be the same issues that the Marines have with the Osprey. What will have the range and speed to escort these? To truly exploit this new type’s capabilities, a new gunship type is in order.


I think the US Army made the correct choice.

Someone on a public forum posted why the US Army wants a 2400 mile tiltrotor. I say for CSAR and SOF. With the B-21 “Raider” and F-35 stealth planes, if one goes down, the US DoD had better come to the rescue and the V-280 is the plane to do it with speed, range, endurance, firepower and the troops.

There are several comments on forums still promoting the DefiantX. I saw both should be built for USSOCOM. The DefiantX is needed for tighter spaces and better maneuverability.

The digital dash on the V-280 is just freaking awesome!

Yes, from a modelling perspective, this is great news if a little ahead of itself… I’d be surprised to see a kit any time soon. Happy to be proven wrong in 1/35 scale.

From a real world perspective, I am surprised that the Army went for such a complex piece of machinery over the Blackhawk, albeit with more / better advantages. Any gunship version will be even more complex with those two huge rotors out front to clear. But then, I’m a modeller sitting at my desk, drinking coffees.


The V-280 won’t have the same issues as the V-22 because the entire engine does not rotate downwards and this allows for side door gunners because the engines no longer get in the way.

The V-22 is still needed because it has a rear ramp for vehicles such as the Flyer 60 and ATVs.

The V-280 will have to have its own gunship version as an escort…we’ll see if the US Army Direct Action Penetrator (DAP) it with stub pylon wings. However, the V-280’s range, speed, and endurance is phenomenal. It should have extreme situational awareness as the entire dash is a HD LED screen.

The V-280 flew many more flight hours than the DefiantX because the DefinatX was hobbled by an older engine. Boeing wanted to develop a newer engine, but even then, the range and speed would be less than the V-280. Bell Helicopters funded their own V-280 and completed many requirements and milestones that the US Army set forth.

Not included are the government furnished equipment (GFE) like radios, IR suppressors, chaff/flare dispensers, FLIR, refueling probe (if any) and armor. Adding GFE complicates a lot of things and affects weight, performance, and specifications. Companies can run into trouble with implementing GFE properly and the program can still stall or sink. So the V-280 you see would just be a prototype to the real in-service US Army tiltrotor. I still think the US Army chose the correct contender and needs the V-280’s capabilities.

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As someone who spent 32 years driving US Army Helos, I think this is a really bad decision. The Raider had a much smaller rotor footprint.

I’ve flown UH-1B/H/V, OH-58A/D, CH-47C/’D’s and have landed in some really tight spots at night doing Dustoff work, that this bird will never be able to get into. The Raider had a 34’ x 36’ Fling Wing vs length. It doesn’t matter what the speed is or range, if you can’t get into a tight hover hole you can’t do your job.

Army role and mission, drop and pickup troops.

As to CSAR, that’s more a USAF role and mission, and they have V-22’s, and have better gear for that specialized mission.

The USAR CH-47D unit I was with was one of two USAR units slated to get V-22’s, then the program blew up $$$ wise and we kept our CH-47D airframes.