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AUSA 2021: Bell selects Rolls-Royce engine for V-280

Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine on display on 13 October at the AUSA annual convention in Washington, DC. Bell will use the engine in its V-280 tiltrotor if it wins the US Army's FLRAA competition. (Janes/Pat Host)

Bell has selected Rolls-Royce's AE 1107F engine to serve as the propulsion system on the V-280 Valor tiltrotor if the programme wins the US Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition.

John Shade, Rolls-Royce executive vice-president of business development and future programmes, told Janes on 11 October at the Association of the United States Army's (AUSA's) convention that the AE 1107F is a modification of the AE 1107C 7,000 shp turboshaft that powers the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The company's AE product family is used on a variety of military aircraft such as the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4C Triton, and the Boeing MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial vehicles, he said.

The V-280 was initially powered by a pair of General Electric (GE) T64-GE-419 free turbine turboshaft engines during the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator phase. Ryan Ehinger, Bell vice-president and programme director for FLRAA/V-280, told Janes on 12 October that the company researched multiple options from available propulsion systems for the V-280.

Ehinger said Bell and Rolls-Royce had been working together on a propulsion option for FLRAA for the past three years. Shade said Rolls-Royce had been working on US Army-funded other transaction authority contracts supporting Bell, on the full propulsion system.

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