The fourth Bell 525 flight test vehicle (FTV) has completed its first flight. The fifth and final Bell 525 FTV is expected to join the airborne fleet later this year for testing. The company is 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 aircraft features the first fully-integrated touch screen avionics suite designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H. The 525 Relentless is the first commercial fly-by-wire helicopter.
The Bell 525’s specifications include a flight cruise speed at max continuous power and max gross weight of 155+ kts, a range of 500+ nm and a useful load of 7,400+ lbs. The maximum gross weight for the Relentless is 19,300+ lbs (8,754 kg). The 525 FTV fleet has completed over 400 hours of testing, according to the company. Remaining activities including cold weather and cabin and component fatigue testing.