Spirit AeroSystems completes first Bell V-280 Valor fuselage

Spirit AeroSystems Inc. (NYSE: SPR) said it has completed the first fuselage to Bell Helicopter for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program.

The unit was designed and assembled in Spirit´s rapid prototyping facility in Wichita, Kan., in just 22 months. The composite fuselage is being prepped to ship to Bell´s Amarillo, Texas, facility for final assembly.

“Delivering a fuselage from design to completion in 22 months is an amazing accomplishment,” said Spirit President and CEO Larry Lawson. “Spirit´s unique capability to design, build and deliver with the highest quality and lowest possible cost make us a great partner on revolutionary programs like the Bell V-280.”

The US 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. A next generation tiltrotor, the Bell V-280 Valor advanced technology tiltrotor provides unmatched speed, range and payload for expeditionary maneuver to win in a complex world.

The V-280 is scheduled to make its first flight in the second half of 2017.

Spirit AeroSystems, with headquarters in Wichita, Kan., USA, is one of the world´s largest non-OEM designers and manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial aircraft. In addition to its Wichita and Chanute facilities in Kansas, Spirit has locations in Tulsa and McAlester, Okla.; Kinston, N.C.; Prestwick, Scotland; Preston, England; Subang, Malaysia; and Saint-Nazaire, France. In the US, Spirit´s core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components.