LORD completes first elastomeric rotor bearings for Bell V-280 Valor
From left: Diana Tinlin, LORD Sr. Engineer, rotary-wing engineering; Scott Reinbold, LORD Sr. engineer, rotary-wing engineering; Joe Pawlowski, LORD Sr. engineer, rotary-wing engineering; Chad Stecker, director of strategic sourcing, Bell; Michael Burnett, engineer, V-280 rotor system analysis, Bell; John Crocco, engineer, AATD; Eric Wells, supply chain lead, advanced programs. Bell; Chris Gehler, director, V-280 program manager, Bell; Steve Meyer, director, A&D global sales, LORD; Edward Hudson, Sr. sales engineer, A&D global sales, LORD; and Chris Lyons, Sr. technologist, NPI operations, LORD. LORD Photo
LORD Corporation – a leader in the management of vibration, noise and motion control – celebrated the completion of the first ship-set of the V-280 Valor elastomeric rotor bearings to Bell Helicopter for the V-280 Valor joint multi-role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) program.
LORD designed and built the units in just 28 months at its manufacturing and engineering facility in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“Delivering bearings from design to completion in 28 months is an amazing accomplishment,” said LORD CEO Ed Auslander. “LORD Corporation’s unique capabilities to design, build, and deliver with the highest quality to unique requirements, make us a great partner on revolutionary programs like the Bell V-280.”
The U.S. Army-led JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift program, with the goal to replace 2,000 to 4,000 medium-class utility and attack helicopters. The V-280 Valor is Bell Helicopter's offering for the JMR-TD program.
“LORD Corporation is proud to be an investing member of team Valor with 10 other premier aerospace companies. Together, we are helping the Department of Defense inform requirements and reduce risk on a new development program while at the same time providing the capabilities to win on the battlefield,” said Steve Meyer, LORD director of global sales.
Bell Helicopter’s Chad Stecker, director, sourcing and Chris Gehler, director, V-280 program manager attended the V-280 bearing completion ceremony along with U.S. Army representatives.
Having demonstrated durability in extreme environments on military and civilian platforms, LORD high-capacity laminate (HCL) elastomeric bearings accommodate high loads and blade motions without the need for lubrication. Operators are able to save on costs associated with unscheduled maintenance and on-condition replacement allows for gradual and predictable degradation mode.
LORD bearings are critical in achieving the low speed maneuverability required by this new, next-generation tiltrotor aircraft engineered to reach speeds of 280 knots, according to Edward Hudson, senior sales engineer. The aircraft is designed to have the capacity to fly for 800 kilometers on one tank of fuel, hover and maneuver in “high-hot” conditions and function as both a utility and attack helicopter platform.
At this time, the design team is working toward building a demonstrator aircraft that will take its first flight in fall 2017.
“LORD has a long relationship with Bell, collaborating on new and innovative rotary-wing platforms, including all their existing military and commercial platforms, as well as the new Bell 525,” said Hudson. “Expertise stemming from multiple platforms including extensive knowledge and design expertise of HCL bearings helped LORD earn the contract. We were selected for team Valor specifically because of our expertise and experience from the design of components for the V-22 program.”
“The elastomerics play a pivotal role in delivering the enhanced hover agility of the V-280,” said Vince Tobin, Bell Helicopter vice president of advanced tiltrotor systems. “The completion of the first elastomeric rotor bearings represents yet another successful step toward the completion of the first V-280. The V-280 Valor is an aircraft that will provide unmatched speed, range and payload capabilities at an affordable cost.
“This next-generation tiltrotor is designed with affordability in mind, leveraging advanced tooling and techniques that remove cost, weight and complexity from the aircraft while yielding a high level of capability.”