Bell Helicopter (Chalet A48) is aiming for the first flights of the Bell 525 Relentless and Bell SLS late next year, and the two engineering teams working on the new helicopters are engaged in a friendly race, CEO John Garrison said here on Monday.
Bell Helicopter is developing a new “short, light single” (SLS) that will be powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2R turboshaft engine, John Garrison, president and CEO, announced yesterday morning at the Paris Air Show. The “clean sheet” aircraft, which Garrison expects will fly next year, will be the first Bell helicopter to be powered by a Turbomeca engine. Certification of the new helicopter will take place “as quickly as possible” after the first flight.
Bell Helicopters is pressing ahead with the secondary design phase for the development of the new 525 Relentless helicopter that it launched in February. Here at the Farnborough International Airshow, the U.S. airframer is displaying a mockup of the super-medium twin, which is on track to make a first flight around the turn of 2013/14 and then enter service in 2015.
The Bell 427 is the subject of a new FAA airworthiness directive requiring replacement of certain tailboom attachment hardware and at certain intervals determining the torque of the attachment hardware. It was prompted by a review of the tailboom attachment installation that revealed the torque value of the bolts specified in the maintenance manual, and applied during manufacturing, was incorrect and exceeded the recommended torque range.
Today, Bell Helicopter formally launched the 525 “Relentless” super-medium twin, the largest civil helicopter in the company’s history. The helicopter 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.
Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas, delivered the first Bell 429 customer aircraft to launch customer Air Methods on August 1, after which S/N 57006 flew south from Bell’s assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec, to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.
Following Transport Canada certification and FAA validation of the Bell 429 in July, Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas, delivered the first aircraft, S/N 57006, to launch customer Air Methods on August 1. The current Bell 429 fleet (two prototypes, three flight test and two customer aircraft) has accumulated more than 2,200 hours.
Bell Helicopter received Transport Canada certification for its long-awaited new light twin, the 429, last month. The company also announced that it had completed FAA certification requirements. Deliveries of the twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207DI-powered, $4.865 million (2007 $) helicopter were scheduled to begin last month.
Bell Helicopter on July 1 announced that it received FAA and Transport Canada certification for its long awaited Bell 429 light twin. Deliveries of the twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207DI-powered, $4.865 million (2007 dollars) helicopter are scheduled to begin later this month. Bell holds more than 300 customer purchase letters of intent for the 429 and is in the process of converting them to firm orders.
By the time you read this, it is likely that Bell Helicopter will have received Transport Canada type certification for its twin-turbine Bell 429 light helicopter. Though not quite as likely, the FAA might also have validated Transport Canada’s TC, since the U.S. agency has been following the process closely.
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