U.S. Army experimental test pilots fly Bell V-280 Valor

In support of the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) selection program, U.S. Army Redstone Test Center (RTC) experimental test pilots (XPs) conducted flights of the Bell V-280 Valor in August 2020, as part of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) preparations for the FLRAA test effort, a key element of Army Modernization.

The FLRAA is on track for full rate production by 2030. On Mar. 16, the Army awarded Other Transaction Agreement contracts to Bell and Sikorsky for the competitive demonstration and risk reduction (CD&RR) phase of the FLRAA aircraft. The CD&RR will extend over two years; informing the final Army requirements and the program of record planned for competition in fiscal year 2022.


Black Hawk aviation crews test new Army aircraft survivability system

The latest countermeasures designed to improve Army aircraft survivability were tested here by helicopter aircrews based out of Fort Hood, Texas. Soldiers from the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment belonging to 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, with Fort Hood, Texas? 1st Cavalry Division deployed to Redstone Test Center to fly UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter equipped with Common Infrared Countermeasures.

According to Chief Warrant Officer 4 Toby Blackmon, a test officer with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command?s Aviation Test Directorate, CIRCM operational testing provides data on an improved countermeasure system with upgrades that greatly improve on the current Common Missile Warning System that has been used for years on Army aircraft while deployed.


Navy test pilot instructor earns Navy?s first-ever Army Broken Wing

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, MD?? June? 7, 2019 U.S. Naval Test Pilot School rotary instructor Barb Gordon was the Navy?s first to receive the??Army?s Broken Wing Award?during a ceremony June 6? in Patuxent River. Highly regarded and rarely awarded, the Army gives the Broken Wing to aircrew who have minimized or prevented loss of life and aircraft through outstanding airmanship during inflight emergencies. Gordon?s award marked the first time the Army presented the Broken Wing outside of the service.

Col. John Jones, commanding officer of the Army?s Redstone Test Center (RTC) in Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, presided over the ceremony and presented the award to Gordon, a former naval lieutenant commander, who successfully recovered the UH-60L she was training a test pilot under instruction in October 5, 2016.


Pilots test new digital displays in Black Hawk helicopters to replace decades-old analog controls

The nearly 40-year-old helicopter that is the centerpiece of Army aviation is getting a control panel that rivals a brand-new Lamborghini.

Soldiers with the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, recently conducted tests alongside experimental test pilots from Redstone Test Center, Alabama, of the new digital systems on the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopters.

The system will upgrade the existing navigation suite, install a digital integrated glass cockpit and replace the decades-old analog controls, according to an Army release.