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.
Dassault Systèmes, a 3-D design software, digital mock-up and product lifecycle management company, is displaying aerospace innovation solutions at the GIFAS (French aerospace industries) stands at the Dubai Airshow (Stands 640, 1445).
Dassault Aviation is poised to name a successor to long-standing chairman and CEO Charles Edelstenne, who is due to retire on January 9 after more than half a century of service at the French aerospace group. A company spokesman told AIN today that an announcement of a successor will be made “in the next few days.”
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.
After pioneering digital design in the aerospace industry 25 years ago, Dassault Aviation has implemented what it calls “the digital factory.” The Falcon 7X was the first aircraft to be produced using this concept, and the result was some impressive gains in manufacturing efficiency. Now Dassault has taken digitization one step further, by simulating the processes of aircraft completion and maintenance.
The recipient of this year’s NBAA Meritorious Service Award to Aviation– the association’s most distinguished honor–is Serge Dassault, chairman emeritus of Dassault Falcon Jet.
Managing aircraft programs is a complex process that should not be underestimated. This is one of the clearest messages to have emerged in recent years and is evidenced when one considers the 787 supplier issues, A380 wiring problems and A400M delays. It costs the industry vast sums of time and money.
The Falcon 7X will be the first Dassault business jet to be designed in a “plateau” organization, with all risk-sharing partners working in the same office for one year. Dassault executives expect this process to provide a smoother entry into production. Bruno Revellin-Falcoz, Dassault senior vice president, said maintenance requirements were also being integrated into the design from the start.
For years one of the most difficult aspects of creating a business aircraft interior has been providing a realistic representation of the finished product to the client. This is the first stage of the completion process, and it is critical to the on-time delivery of the finished airplane, within budget and meeting or exceeding the client’s expectations.
- Page 1