The Bell 525 Relentless has moved a step closer to becoming the first certified-commercial fly-by-wire helicopter in the market with the completion of the helicopter’s acoustic signature testing.
The tests were conducted at Buttonwillow Airport, California earlier this month. Buttonwillow Airport was used because of its lack of background noise and proximity to Bakersfield to support the test operation technicians. The teams working on the tests maintained safe distances from each other to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Mike Bucka, testing project manager at Bell said, “We were able to get our test data very easily while simultaneously practicing social distancing because the monitoring locations are naturally hundreds of feet apart.
“The weather was more of an issue for this effort, but we were able to work our schedule around the rainstorms.”
Bell said that there is stronger market demand for quieter rotorcraft now more than ever before, with US cities such as San Francisco only operating heavily regulated flights over these urban areas to reduce noise population.
As Bell’s largest commercial product, the Bell 525 Relentless has been developed with the aim of maintaining low noise and high performance. The helicopter can carry up to 16 passengers and have been designed to maximize passenger comfort with smooth cabin vibrations and low noise operations.
The company is aiming the aircraft at applications in offshore operations, corporate travel and military troop transport.