Bell Helicopter (Chalet L2) and interiors specialist Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG, Hall 1 Stand A140) unveiled here at Farnborough the Grandeur luxury interior for the Bell 525 Relentless, on display at the show in a full-scale cabin mockup. Featuring the latest advances in ergonomic design, noise perception, functionality and comfort, the Grandeur interior offers multiple choices for finishings and seating configurations. An in-flight Entertainment Enhanced Lounge (I-FEEL) incorporates Wi-Fi, moving maps, ambient light controls and audio/video functions, all controllable via smart device or smart watch. Large cabinets provide plenty of storage space, and the monitors mounted on them can retract into the consoles. Electro-chromatic controls change cabin windows from clear to full tint, while a Speech Interference Level Enhanced Noise System (SILENS) with limousine-style privacy window quiets the cabin, allowing passengers to converse without using headsets.
Cabin configuration options allow customers to choose a layout best suited to their needs. With oversize windows, large individual swiveling seats and options like a wrap-around divan, the design brings rotorcraft interiors to a level previously associated with high-end business jets.
Armando Sassoli, co-general manager of Italy’s MAG, called Grandeur “the perfect blend of style and technology,” while Bell’s Patrick Moulay, executive v-p of global sales and marketing, asserted the interior “is taking luxury helicopter transport to a new level.”
The “super medium” category Relentless is the only commercial helicopter to incorporate fly-by-wire technology, and is on track to become the fastest, having exceeded 200 knots in high speed testing. No price for the Relentless has been announced, but it’s expected to list for between $20 million and $24 million.
Bell has cancelled a scheduled press conference here at Farnborough on the 525 program following the July 6 crash of a Bell 525 flight-test vehicle, which claimed the lives of the two test pilots onboard. It remains to be seen how the tragedy will affect the certification program, which had been scheduled for completion next year. The prototype that crashed was the first of three flying in the test program. Two more are in production, expected to join the program later this summer.