Bell Unveils Expanded Flight Research Center in Arlington

City and community leaders had the opportunity to see the experimental Bell V-280 Valor aircraft in action during a ceremony Thursday to celebrate the company’s expanded Flight Research Center in south Arlington.

This state-of-the-art facility near the Arlington Municipal Airport houses many of the company’s newest technology and innovations, including the Bell V-280 Valor, 525 Relentless, V-247 Vigilant and the Autonomous Pod Transport.

The new 5,000-square-foot innovation hub provides a unique setting for Bell’s commercial and military customers, partners and stakeholders to interact with technology that is defining the future of flight.

“For more than 65 years, Bell has produced state-of-the-art aircraft and innovations in North Texas’ backyard. We are proud to showcase our investment in this facility, versatile aircraft and the talented team working on the next generation of products,” said Robert Hastings, Bell’s executive vice president of strategic communications.

Like the City of Arlington, Bell isn’t waiting for technology to come to them, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said during Thursday’s ceremony.

“They are pursuing big dreams and big ideas and getting things done,” Williams said. “Bell is in Arlington’s DNA and we’re excited to continue this innovative journey together.”

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Here’s a look at some of aviation milestones that Bell has marked in Arlington.

Then:

  • The Flight Research Center was the focal point for early tiltrotor research aircraft – an innovative concept that combined the best features of the helicopter and the airplane. The first production Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, the first tiltrotor aircraft to have operational military capabilities, was delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps in 1998. This monumental delivery was celebrated at the Flight Research Center just 10 years after the V-22 achieved first flight at this same location.
  • Bell’s history of advanced military aircraft had milestone moments at the Flight Research Center. The Bell AH-1T+ SuperCobra, the backbone of the U.S. Marine Corps attack helicopter fleet for decades, made its first flight in 1983. That same year the Bell OH-58-Armed Kiowa Warrior prototype, designated for the U.S. Army, also achieved first flight.

Now:

  • The Flight Research Center is a state-of-the-art facility that houses many of our newest technology and innovations including the 525, V-247, APT and Hydra.
  • The facility also includes the Bell 525 RASIL (Relentless Advanced Systems Integration Laboratory.), Bell’s next-generation lab with a high level of automation, enabling superior testing and learning with better control and functionality than ever before.
  • The V-247 simulator is also in work in the facility and will be installed over the next couple of years.