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NEWS | US HSVTOL Bell Helicopter

Bell Awarded Funding for DARPA SPRINT X-Plane

Bell and its High-Speed Vertical Take-Off and Landing (HSVTOL) technology awarded funding for Phase 1B of DARPA Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane Program





Bell Awarded Funding for DARPA SPRINT  X-Plane
Bell, May 28, 2024 - Fort Worth, TX - Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has been down-selected for Phase 1B of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane program.

The SPRINT program intends to design, build, and fly an X-Plane, an experimental aircraft to demonstrate enabling technologies and integrated concepts necessary for a transformational combination of aircraft speed and runway independence for the next generation of air mobility platforms. In Phase 1A, Bell executed conceptual design review and will move into preliminary design efforts for the SPRINT X-plane.

Jason Hurst, executive vice president, Engineering, Bell said “Bell is honored to be selected for the next phase of this revolutionary program and ready to execute preliminary design. We completed our initial risk reduction efforts with our sled test demonstration at Holloman Air Force Base, and we look forward to building on this success with our continued work with DARPA.”

Bell completed risk reduction testing at Holloman Air Force Base in late 2023, showcasing folding rotor, integrated propulsion, and flight control technologies. Bell is building on its investment in High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) technology and past X-plane experience to inform the X-plane development for this program.

Bell’s HSVTOL technology blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed (400+ kts), range, and survivability of jet aircraft. Bell has developed high-speed vertical lift technology for more than 85 years, pioneering innovative VTOL configurations like the X-14, X-22, XV-3 and XV-15 for NASA, the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and continues to build on its proven history of fast flight from the Bell X-1.

About Bell : Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us. We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours. Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron : Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems.


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US HSVTOL Bell Helicopter
US DARPA




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