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Bell Unveils Mock-up of V-247 Vigilant Tilt-Rotor Combat Drone

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Bell Unveils V-247 Vigilant Tilt-Rotor Combat Drone Mock-Up at USMC Tech Expo (excerpt)

(Source: The Drive; posted Sept 25, 2018)

By Joseph Trevithick

Bell unveiled a full-scale mock-up of its V-247 Vigilant tilt-rotor combat drone at the USMC Tech Expo. The Marines are looking at the design as part of their own multi-role drone program, but it could appeal to other services, as well. (Photo by The Drive)

As the U.S. Marine Corps looks to move ahead with its multi-role, vertical landing and takeoff-capable drone program, known as MUX, Bell has unveiled a new, full-scale mock-up of its V-247 Vigilant unmanned tilt-rotor at a technology exposition at one of the service’s own bases. The company has been actively pitching the design as an option for MUX project, but it has a modular design that could make it appealing to other U.S. and foreign military services, as well.

Bell showed the full-size model to the public for the first time at the 2018 Modern Day Marine Expo at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia on Sept. 25, 2018. The firm first announced it was working on the V-247 design at all in 2016, around the same time that the Marines first revealed the MUX concept, which officially stands for Marine Air Ground Task Force Unmanned Aircraft System Expeditionary.

“The Bell V-247 Vigilant is leveraging combat-proven technology making the future of aviation a reality today,” Todd Worden, Bell’s Senior Manager for Global Military Business Development speaks, told attendees at the Modern Day Marine Expo while standing in front of the model. “It's a testament to the power and versatility of tilt-rotor flight.”

The V-247 uses technology derived from both the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, which the Marines already fly, as well as the still-in-development V-280 Valor, which the company has pitched to the U.S. Army as part of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. The unmanned Vigilant will be capable of autonomous flight and will have the necessary data links to support teaming up with manned aircraft, according to Bell. The company also says the drone can turn its wings and fold its rotors in order to fit within the same physical footprint as a Marine UH-1Y Venom utility and light attack helicopter, which is a key MUX requirement. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on The Drive website.