Bell and Pratt & Whitney to develop propulsion systems for HSVTOLs


Bell and Pratt & Whitney are to jointly develop propulsion solutions for high speed VTOLs (HSVTOLs).

Already working with the US government, Bell is open discussions with industry leaders, including Pratt & Whitney, to deliver HSVTOL capabilities to the US Air Force.

Dr. Steven Burd, director and chief engineer, Advanced Military Engine Programs, Pratt & Whitney, said: “We’re excited to dig into HSVTOL propulsion technology research with Bell and showcase what this next generation capability could bring to USAF and other warfighters.”

According to Bell, HSVTOL provides “next generation capability” in vertical lift speed, range, and survivability. HSVTOLs blend the manoeuvrability of a helicopter with the speed, range and survivability features of a fighter, it said. Mission types include infil/exfil, personnel recovery, and strikes.

Lee Anderson, Director of Innovation, Bell, said: “HSVTOL propulsion technology is one of the key technical areas to develop for future capability, and we’re thrilled to leverage expertise from Pratt & Whitney to explore ways to mature technology for these concepts.”

Bell is leveraging existing experience, with the Bell 360 Invictus capable of over 200 knots, and the Bell V-280 Valor over 300 knots. Bell also noted, a HSVTOL’s runway flexibility provides the capability to take off from a runway conventionally if able and vertically if not.