Tue, Jun 19, 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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