February 13, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
With literally an audience of thousands, Bell Helicopter put its mark on the oil platform helicopter market by unveiling what it calls a “super medium” size Bell 525 Relentless at Heli-Expo in Dallas. The 18,000-pound plus helicopter is expected to have a speed of 150 knots.
The mockup shown was in the colors of PHI, a transportation firm best known for servicing oil drilling platforms, but also serving the mining, air medical, and other industries. It has a five-blade main rotor system. PHI participated in the research and development for the 16-passenger helicopter.
Bell went all out in its marketing effort for the new model. When attendees of Heli-Expo returned to their hotel rooms after an unveiling ceremony at the Dallas Convention Center, they found pictures of the 525 mockup plastered to bathroom mirrors.
“Having PHI and our other customers engage with us on this unprecedented new aircraft validates our product development strategies—placing our customers at the center of everything we do,” said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “We appreciate the collaborative spirit we share with all of our customers who have participated in this innovative process,” he said.
The helicopter will be powered by two GE CT7-2F1 engines of 1,800 shaft horsepower each and feature the Garmin G5000H integrated avionics suite—an avionics system for helicopters also announced at Heli-Expo this week.
It could fly by 2014 and be certified by 2015. It is to be built in Amarillo, Texas, and is the culmination of a research program called Magellan.
Helicopter Association International,
In a major deal between two of the best-known U.S. antique aircraft firms, Rare Aircraft has purchased a huge inventory of Stearman parts from Air Repair and will begin producing as-new Golden Age biplanes.
Garmin has announced an upgrade making new features and options available to operators of G1000-equipped King Airs in the 200/250/300/350 series.
Pilots from Maine and New England turned out in numbers for the annual Maine Aviation Forum hosted by EAA Chapter 1434.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.