The Bell 525 test vehicle completed it’s first flight this week.
The Bell 525 fleet has complete over 400 hours of testing since returning to flight in July of 2017. When certified, the 20,000-pound gross weight 525 Relentless will become the first commercial fly-by-wire helicopter. Bell is currently aiming for certification in 2019.
“This is another significant milestone for the Bell 525 program and a testament to the hard work being completed at our flight research center,” said Byron Ward, vice president of the Bell 525 program. “We are focused on certification and delivering the most technologically advanced helicopter to market.”
The Bell 525 Relentless was first announced at Heli-Expo 2012, and is designed to operate safely and reliable in austere environments while minimizing 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. The fifth Bell 525 is scheduled to join the fleet later this year.