Bell Helicopter Company, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is getting closer each day to creating an unmanned V-247 Vigilant tiltrotor for the US Marine Corps. The project began in 2016 and has been completely funded from inside sources. Talk of the unmanned tiltrotor began when the US Marine Corp expressed a need for a long-range unmanned aircraft.
MUX, the nickname for the project, is designed to fill the gaps currently present in the flight program. The V-247 Vigilant tiltrotor is designed to handle a host of different missions, from supplying new cargo to men on the ground to scanning surrounding areas for enemy camps.
The V-247 Vigilant has been designed to handle anything the US Marine Corp throws at it. Right now, the helicopters are set to work in fleets of five or less and will be able to run for up to six hours and travel 835 kilometers.
A manned version of the V-247, called the V-280 Valor, is also in the works and would work along side the unmanned aircrafts. These two models share similar states but would be able to handle different missions. While the V-247 is unable to carry passengers the V-280 would be able to.
The two also have similar interior set-ups with prop-rotors being able to move while the aircraft engine remains sedentary. All of these functions and options are being tested and perfected within each aircraft and we can expect to see these two-tiltrotor’s flying through the sky very shortly.
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