AMARILLO, Texas, 7 July 2015. Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced the maiden flight of its Bell 525 Relentless super-medium helicopter at the company’s aircraft assembly center in Amarillo, Texas.
A unique characteristic of the Bell 525 is the ability to perform CAT-A takeoffs and landings, to and from a helipad at maximum gross weight. Even in the event that one of the two engines fails, the Bell 525 provides sufficient power to maintain occupant safety while lifting off with a single operational engine, officials say. With over 60 helicopters reserved under letters of intent, the Bell 525 is designed to provide operators and end users the ability to perform a wide variety of missions under challenging weather conditions.
“The Bell 525 performed extremely well today,” describes Troy Caudill, senior flight test pilot at Bell Helicopter. “I am excited to be a part of the development of this advanced aircraft and help define the future of vertical lift.”
“The first flight test started with taxi testing and maneuvers and then went into an initial hover, performing various hover maneuvers and then tested low speed handling qualities with winds gusting to 20 knots,” adds Jeff Greenwood, senior flight test pilot at Bell Helicopter.
The Bell 525 is reportedly the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. The aircraft features the first fully-integrated touchscreen avionics suite designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H, officials say. Best-in-class payload, cabin, cargo volumes, and passenger comfort complement the technological advancements on the aircraft.
"We have diligently executed our schedule to design, develop, build, and test the aircraft, and look forward to the next phase of flight testing as we work towards certification,” Matt Hasik, executive vice president of commercial programs at Bell Helicopter, says of the Bell 525, first introduced at Heli-Expo in 2012. “The marketplace has been awaiting the transformational capabilities of the Bell 525 and we continue to see growing customer demand from around the globe for this aircraft.”
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is a producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its brands, such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems.