Bell officially opened its expanded flight research center (FRC) in Arlington, Texas, late last week. The expanded FRC will house test programs, including the V-280 Valor tiltrotor, 525 Relentless, unmanned V-247 Vigilant tiltrotor, APT autonomous pod transport, and Hydra.
It houses the Bell 525 Relentless Advanced Systems Integration Laboratory, an automated testing lab for the 525, and a remodeled 5,000-sq-ft customer area that showcases aircraft capabilities. A V-247 simulator will be added in the future.
The FRC has been the focal point for Bell’s advanced programs for nearly seven decades, including early tiltrotor research that led to the V-22 program, and has been the home to first flights of numerous military aircraft such as the OH-58 Armed Kiowa Warrior prototype and AH-1T+ Super Cobra. “For more than 65 years, Bell has produced state-of-the-art aircraft and innovations. We are proud to showcase our investment in this facility, versatile aircraft, and the talented team working on the generation of products,” a Bell spokesman told AIN.