The largest commercial Bell helicopters operator in Southwest Asia is getting even bigger. Abu Dhabi Aviation wants to add 10 new to develop Bell 525 Relentless choppers to its fleet. The aircraft will be used for the offshore oil and gas industry, as emergency medical support aircraft, for VIP transport, for firefighting and for search and rescue.
The Bell 525 medium-lift helicopter only exists on paper so far, with the first flight projected later this year. It will be able to accommodate about 16 passengers or transport 7,400 lbs (3,400 kg) of cargo at a max speed of 155 knots (287 kmh) over a distance of 575 miles (926 km) at a max. altitude of 20,000 feet. The range is almost doubled with only half the cargo load. The chopper will be fly-by-wire controlled, a new thing in the commercial chopper business. Two GE engines will power the helicopter, which will sport the Garmin G5000H “glass” flight deck.
Abu Dhabi Aviation already flies 38 Bell 412 and 212 helicopters, accumulating 750,000 flight hours over the past 30 years in business. The company signed the letter of intent for the 10 Bell 525s at the Heli-Expo 2014 in Anaheim, USA, on 26 February 2014.
Source: Bell Textron