Wed, Feb 22, 2012
Bell helicopter did more than just put on a good show for the
attendees of Heli-Expo 2012... they signalled to one and all that
they are intent on recapturing past glories.
Once the world's pre-eminent helicopter builder, Bell's glory
days have been eclipsed by aggressive product development at
Eurocopter -- which now proudly carries top billing in the world's
heli-builder sweepstakes. It wasn't always that way... and if Bell
proves to be good to its word and new direction, it may just topple
Eurocopter and go on to lead the heli-world once again.
The success or failure of those goals rests with an initiative
signaled overtly by the development of a new breed of helicopter...
Bell's 525 'Relentless.' Bell is unabashedly claiming a number of
"FIRSTs" as it attempts to bing the B525 to market... They claim it
will be the FIRST commercial helicopter to define the super-medium
class by combining best-in-class performance characteristics and
passenger amenities with maximized situational awareness of the ARC
Horizon flight deck.
Bell claims it will be the FIRST commercial helicopter to
incorporate fly-by-wire flight controls, delivering superior
handling qualities and increased level of safety through the
ability to seamlessly react in austere environments. Bell claims it
will be the FIRST commercial helicopter to incorporate the Garmin
G5000H, a touchscreen avionics suite, for enhanced situational
awareness and improved pilot integration. And finally, Bell claims
it will be the FIRST commercial helicopter to incorporate
Bell’s LATD tail boom technology for improved hover
performance. It's a lot of firsts... and its an aggressive program,
to say the least.
Capable of carrying up to 16 passengers, the Bell 525 Relentless
is designed to support various missions including oil & gas,
search & rescue, helicopter emergency medical services and
VIP/corporate transport. The new Bell 525 Relentless will be
powered by the GE CT7-2F1. This latest version of the CT7 family is
designed with an emphasis on low fuel consumption, low cost of
operation and with other technical features to ensure aircraft meet
the requirements of long range, high payload missions. The CT7-2F1
engine includes a Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC)
plus advanced materials, primarily in the turbine section.
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