Bell Helicopter's 525 Relentless has completed its maiden flight at the company's aircraft assembly centre in Amarillo, Texas.
“The Bell 525 was announced at Heli-Expo in 2012, and we are proud to have achieved this milestone. 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,” says executive vp Matt Hasik.
“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.”
The twin turbine rotorcraft is able to perform CAT-A takeoffs and landings to and from a helipad at maximum gross weight. It is also able to lift off with a single operational engine. With over 60 helicopters reserved under letters of intent, the Bell 525 is designed to provide operators and end users with high situational awareness and the ability to perform a wide variety of missions under challenging weather conditions.
“The first flight test started with taxi testing and manoeuvres, progressed to an initial hover, performing various hover manoeuvres and then tested low speed handling qualities with winds gusting to 20 knots,” says senior test pilot Jeff Greenwood.