Bell Helicopter resumes flight tests in its Bell 525 program


The Bell 525 is designed to operate in harsh environments with decreased pilot workload.   File photo

Nearly a year after a Bell Helicopter’s “Bell 525 Relentless” fatal crash, the company is resuming its flight test activity with the helicopter after receiving a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) renewed experimental certificate.

Bell’s president and CEO Mitch Snyder said the company is confident in resuming the flight tests for the helicopter, which is the world’s first fly-by wire commercial helicopter.

“Today we have resumed a key element of the Bell 525 program,” Snyder said in a statement. “Bell Helicopter has worked with the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA since the accident and we are confident in the resumption of flight test activity.”

According to Bell, the Bell 525 is designed to operate in harsh environments with decreased pilot workload. The helicopter has touchscreen avionics specifically designed to helicopters and has several other technological advancements.

“The team is focused on certification in 2018 and we are committed to bringing this innovative and high-performing helicopter to market,” Snyder said in the announcement.

Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron, is a well-known industry leader in commercial and military manned and unmanned vertical-lift craft. The global company provides aircraft for customers in over 120 countries.

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