The super-medium Bell Helicopter “Relentless” Model 525, announced at Heli-Expo’12, is not just an ambitious new program, it is a catalyst for changing the culture of the company, said Larry Thimmesch, Bell’s vice president of commercial programs. “There are many new things on this program, not just in terms of product but also in terms of process and cultural change,” he said.
Bell Helicopter is preparing to start assembling the first prototype of the 525 Relentless super-medium twin later this year at its facility in Amarillo, Texas. Four more prototypes are expected to join the test program before certification in 2015. Bell and its suppliers have begun manufacturing parts for the helicopter, which was announced in February last year and is slated to fly for the first time next year.
SR Technics, an executive refurbishment and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) specialist in Zurich, continues to enhance and develop its executive cabin outfitting and maintenance services.
The company claims to have invested in new engineering tooling and systems and to have nearly doubled the size of its skilled labor team in the past 12 months alone.
Dassault Aviation received net orders for 36 Falcons last year, CEO Charles Edelstenne said in March during the company’s annual presentation in Paris, noting a major improvement over 2010, when cancellations took the net total to minus nine. The 2011 orders represented a value of €1.93 billion ($2.5 billion), and the Falcon backlog now stands at €4.2 billion ($5.5 billion).
Fokker Aircraft Services (Stand 1338) is here promoting its Direct View cabin surveillance system for VIP aircraft. Devised for flight attendants, it has a positive knock-on effect on the cabin design. The first example of Direct View was installed in a converted Airbus A320 delivered in April at Fokker’s facility in Woensdrecht, Netherlands.
Another Boeing BBJ2 is slated for completion at Jet Aviation Basel, following the signing of a new contract with an undisclosed client. Jet Aviation (Stand 7060), founded in Switzerland in 1967 and now a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has completed more than 30 wide- and narrowbody jets during the past 15 years.
Swiss aircraft services company Jet Aviation claims to have won the first contract for cabin completion of Boeing’s new 747-8. The Basel-based center’s in-house interior design studio was retained to design the cabin interior.
Jet Aviation Basel is the first completions center to sign a contract for a private Boeing 747-8 interior completion. The contract is with an undisclosed Middle Eastern client. The company’s in-house interior design studio also won the contract to design the cabin interior. A spokesman for Jet Aviation said the aircraft is slated to arrive in Basel early next year and will take about 24 months to complete.
Dassault (Chalet A14) is working steadily toward a certification date of 2016 for its much-anticipated super-midsize (SMS) Falcon business jet, Olivier Villa, Dassault's senior vice president civil aircraft, told AIN here at MEBA. Launched in January 2008, the twin-engine SMS is intended to be the successor to the out-of-production three-engine Falcon 50.
While best known for its comprehensive aviation training courses and its lineup of flight simulation devices, CAE has moved further upstream into the aircraft design process with new modeling and simulator products. The Canada-based company’s augmented engineering environment (AEE) is a suite of software and hardware products that will assist aircraft manufacturers with the design and systems integration of prototypes.