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Bell Helicopter’s Relentless Pursuit of Performance

Mary Grady

Bell Helicopter unveiled a full-scale model of its newest helicopter, the 525 Relentless, with great fanfare at the Heli-Expo trade show in February. The 525 creates a new class of helicopter, the super-medium, and is designed to carry up to 16 passengers, with more space and bigger seats than in competing models. Built from an entirely clean-sheet design, the 525 employs several technological innovations, including fly-by-wire flight controls, two all-new powerful and efficient GE turbine engines, and a new tail boom that delivers better hover performance. Designed for the oil industry’s demanding needs to fly in all weather conditions over long distances with heavy payloads at economical operating costs, the 525 also will be available in a VIP corporate configuration. Bell has not yet released a price or an estimated time for first delivery, but the company expects the first prototype to take flight in 2014. (817.280.2011, www.bellhelicopter.com)

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