Bell Launches Super-medium Twin Helicopter
Bell Helicopter formally launched the 525 “Relentless” super-medium twin, the largest civil helicopter in the company’s history, this morning at Heli-Expo. “Today, we celebrate with our customers–not only the launch of this new product–but the result of our collective efforts to define a new class of helicopter that raises the bar on innovation in the industry,” said Bell president and CEO John Garrison. Bell’s 525 is an 18,000-pound “plus” ship aimed squarely at the offshore market with a range of more than 400 nm, a speed near 150 knots and a ceiling of 20,000 feet. Offshore helicopter service provider PHI is the launch customer. The clean-sheet helicopter will be powered by a pair of GE CT7-2 engines (1,800 shp each) driving an all-composite five-blade main rotor system and a four-blade tail rotor. According to company senior vice president Larry Roberts, the rotor system and transmission have been optimized for the engines. The Bell 525 will incorporate a triple-redundant fly-by-wire flight control system with a BAE flight computer. It will also feature new Garmin G5000H touch-screen avionics.