GKN Aerospace congratulates Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, on the recent successful first flight of the Bell 525 Relentless. This is a key milestone in the test program to achieve FAA certification. The Bell 525 brings cutting edge capability to the new super-medium class by combining best-in-class performance characteristics and passenger amenities, with fly-by-wire flight controls, a touch screen avionics suite and Bell Helicopter’s new tailboom technology.
GKN Aerospace is contracted to provide Bell Helicopter with key metal and composite structures across the new Bell 525 helicopter fuselage. This major work package includes composite and aluminium fuselage panels and structural parts installed in the cockpit, cabin and tail boom.
GKN Aerospace also provides development and supply of state-of-the-art fuel tanks for the Bell 525. The tanks are manufactured using a newly developed fuel cell material that allows the tanks to weigh less than comparable in-service tanks while also meeting the rigorous performance requirements for Technical Standing Order (TSO C80) and Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR27/29).
Kevin Cummings, CEO – GKN Aerospace, commented: “In the Bell 525 Relentless, Bell Helicopter has created a remarkable helicopter that offers the market truly exceptional levels of performance. We are extremely proud to have contributed to the development of this first ‘Super Medium’ class helicopter and we warmly congratulate Bell Helicopter on achieving this important program milestone.”
GKN Aerospace is the major independent supplier of aero-structures and a world technology leader, pioneering new production techniques that are improving the quality and consistency of manufacture at greatly increased production rates.
The Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. The aircraft integrates critical systems data to be easily accessible at-a-glance with the first fully-integrated touch screen flight deck designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H™. Best-in-class payload, cabin, cargo volumes, comfort and egress complement the technological advancements on the aircraft.
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