Bell 525 Flight Test Program In Final Stages, Aircraft on Production Line - AIN
Bell’s 525 Relentless flight test program is in its final stages, and the company showed a production-conforming aircraft at the recent Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California. FAA flight testing will conclude after about 2,000 hours of flying, and the four helicopters are at about the three-quarter mark, but the manufacturer is not providing a timeline for certification.
Bell says that the goal of the super-medium 525 is to offer the mission capability of a heavy helicopter, but with the economics of a medium. This could prove vital as the oil-and-gas sector continues to face headwinds.
The 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, and the technology should add an additional envelope of safety for pilots and passengers. The flight-control system is triple redundant with a BAE flight computer and Garmin G5000H touchscreen-controlled avionics.