Spirit AeroSystems designed and built fuselage flies for the first time with Bell V-280

The Spirit AeroSystems built fuselage for the Bell V-280 lifted off for the first time at Bell’s Amarillo, Texas, facility Dec. 18.

The Bell V-280 lifts off the ground for the first time at Bell Helicopter’s Amarillo, Texas, facility on Dec. 18. Spirit AeroSystems is responsible for designing and building the complete fuselage for the V-280. Photo courtesy of Bell Helicopter.

“Spirit AeroSystems would like to congratulate Bell Helicopter and Team Valor on achieving first flight of the V-280,” said Krisstie Kondrotis, senior vice president of Spirit Defense. “Spirit is a proud member of Team Valor, providing the entire fuselage for the V-280 Air Vehicle Concept Demonstrator Competitive Prototype, and we look forward to supporting Bell and the U.S. Army to transform the future of vertical lift for all armed forces.”

Spirit Defense designed and built the fuselage in just 22 months at the company’s Rapid Prototype facility in Wichita, Kansas. The 47 foot long fuselage is comprised of aluminum sub-structure with composite skins.

The Bell V-280 Valor program is part of the Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) initiative. The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift Program. Spirit is a member of Team Valor, comprised of 12 companies that bring the best of industry resources to the team.

You can watch Spirit’s time lapse build of the fuselage here.