The new Bell 525 Relentless – the world’s first commercial fly-by-wire helicopter – successfully flew for the first time on 1 July, Bell Helicopter reports. The maiden flight of the super-medium helicopter took place at the company’s aircraft assembly center in Amarillo, Texas.
“The Bell 525 performed extremely well today,” said Troy Caudill, senior flight test pilot at Bell Helicopter. His colleague Jeff Greenwood added: “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.”
The Relentless was designed as an aircraft to meet future requirements for operational safety, payload & range, cabin comfort and configuration and reliability. One of the characteristics 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. With over 60 helicopters reserved under letters of intent, the Bell 525 is designed to provide operators and end users unmatched situational awaress and the ability to perform a wide variety of missions under challenging weather conditions.
According to Bell Helicopter, the Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. The aircraft features the first fully-integrated touch screen avionics suite designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H. Best-in-class payload, cabin, cargo volumes, and passenger comfort complement the technological advancements on the aircraft.
Source: Bell Helicopters