The Bell 525 Relentless super-medium helicopter has successfully completed its first flight at Bell Helicopter’s aircraft assembly centre in Amarillo, Texas, the company announced on 1 July.
The flight test began with taxi testing and manoeuvres, after which it began an initial hover and performed hover manoeuvres. The helicopter’s low speed handling qualities were tested with wind speeds of up to 20 knots.
Matt Hasik, executive vice president of commercial programs, Bell Helicopter, said: ‘The Bell 525 was announced at Heli-Expo in 2012, and we are proud to have achieved this milestone. We have diligently executed our schedule to design, develop, build and test the aircraft, and look forward to the next phase of flight testing as we work towards certification.
‘The marketplace has been awaiting the transformational capabilities of the Bell 525 and we continue to see growing customer demand from around the globe for this aircraft.’
The Bell 525 is capable of performing CAT-A take-offs and landings while at its maximum gross weight, and it can lift off with a single operational engine while maintaining occupant safety. It has a Garmin G5000H touch screen avionics suite. Bell Helicopter has received letters of intent for over 60 Bell 525 helicopters so far.