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Bell Selected for Phase 1A of DARPA Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane Program

Bell to leverage HSVTOL technology to inform Phase 1A conceptual design

Fort Worth, TX (27 November 2023) Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has been selected to compete for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Speed and Runway Independent Technologies (SPRINT) X-Plane program. The SPRINT program intends to design, build, and fly an X-Plane, an experimental aircraft to demonstrate enabling technologies and integrated concepts necessary for a transformational combination of aircraft speed and runway independence for the next generation of air mobility platforms. Phase 1A includes conceptual design, culminating in a formal Conceptual Design Review.

“Bell is honored to be selected for SPRINT and thrilled to support another X-plane, which will bring unprecedented speed to vertical lift aircraft,” said Jason Hurst, executive vice president, Engineering, Bell. “In our rich 85-year history, Bell has produced memorable X-planes, such as the Bell X-1 and XV-15, and expanded our VTOL aircraft capabilities. This contract award is a testament to Bell's ability to build on past successful high-speed aircraft programs while investing in new research to validate HSVTOL technology.”

Bell plans to leverage its extensive investment in High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) technology to demonstrate advanced performance capabilities. Bell is currently conducting risk reduction testing at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico to demonstrate its folding rotor, integrated propulsion, and flight control technologies using a dedicated test article.

Bell’s HSVTOL technology blends the hover capability of a helicopter with the speed (400+ kts), range, and survivability of jet aircraft. Bell has developed high-speed vertical lift technology for more than 85 years, pioneering innovative VTOL configurations like the X-14, X-22, XV-3 and XV-15 for NASA, the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and continues to build on its proven history of fast flight from the Bell X-1.

ABOUT BELL

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

ABOUT TEXTRON INC.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.