During HAI 2020, Bell announced their collaboration with Norwegian oil and gas operator, Wintershall Dea Norge AS, to bring enhanced helicopter operational safety to the North Sea.
“Wintershall Dea is a pioneer in their industry and working together with Bell, we believe we will challenge industry norms and create a new standard of innovation in the oil and gas industry and North Sea operations,” said Byron Ward, vice president, Bell 525 Program. “The technology integrated into the 525 is a generational leap forward and will revolution their operations.”
Bell designed the Bell 525 with fly-by-wire flight controls, industry leading drive system performance and fully integrated vehicle health monitoring. The 525 drive system architecture is also precedent setting. Bell has removed all high speed drives from the main rotor gearbox and put them in independent and redundant reduction and accessory drive gearboxes. This greatly simplifies the main rotor gearbox and minimizes failure modes.
“Wintershall Dea is always looking into ways to improve the way the company operates. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to significantly improve how our employees travel to work offshore,” said Alv. Solheim, Managing Director of Wintershall Dea in Norway.
The two companies are committed to enhancing helicopter operational safety in the North Sea.
“Operating helicopters at the Norwegian continental shelf is demanding in terms of climate, industry- regulations, as well as demanding customers and user groups. The Bell 525 is introducing a new technology level for helicopters to service the transport and SAR requirements on the Norwegian Continental Shelf,” said Ole Petter Bakken of the Norwegian Aviation & Defense Group, Bell’s representative in Norway.
All of this technology and enhanced safety is packaged in a striking aircraft with an incredibly smooth ride and fast cruise speeds. Passenger comfort is a priority and base oil and gas configured seating is 20” wide seats for 16 passengers. Furthermore, every passenger has good visibility and can touch their respective emergency exit window.
“We are very pleased about this collaboration with Wintershall Dea to work toward the new standard in the North Sea, jointly looking at enhancing safety, passenger experience and cost of operations,” said Patrick Moulay, senior vice president, Commercial Business – International. “The Bell 525 was designed with the oil and gas market in mind and we see opportunity for the aircraft to enhance safety and efficiency of operations through 525 technology.”
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