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Helping Bell's V-280 Tiltrotor Maneuver

( 08/09/2018 ) Written by: Joe Pawlowski

The Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor aircraft was designed for improved performance in digital flight controls, reduced disk loading, and improved low speed agility enabled by an increase in the amount of blade flapping designed into the rotor system. We designed the elastomeric bearings—the hub spring in particular—to adjust to this mission driven flapping capability, while maintaining the required design life and heat generation.

LORD designed and manufactured an onboard CF bearing temperature sensor with both wired and wireless transmission capabilities to improve monitoring of the elastomeric bearings in the V-280 rotor hub. We also assisted Bell with risk reduction testing of its hub spring infrared temperature sensor by installing an identical sensor on our own hub spring test machine.  During the V-280 design effort, the drive link was optimized using lessons learned from over 400,000 V-22 flight hours and lessons learned in reliability. Using a clean sheet design, we have been able to capitalize on operational and maintainability opportunities over legacy aircraft designs.

From the outset, the close partnership between Bell and LORD on the V-280 elastomeric bearings enabled rapid optimization of the design. We are proud to be a member of Team Valor. 


Joe Pawlowski

Joe is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at LORD Corporation, focusing on design and structural analysis of rotary wing products.

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