Flight testing of the new Bell 525 Relentless super-medium twin helicopter is “ahead of plan,” according to Bell Helicopter 525 program vice president Larry Thimmesch.
The first 525 flight test vehicle (FTV1) performed its first flight in July. Now a second 525 flight test vehicle (FTV2) has joined the program and should begin testing soon, said Thimmesch.
Testing of the 525 remains on track to secure certification in 2017 and five test aircraft will be used in the program.
FTV1 has flown 65 hours and validated the 165-knot Vne (velocity-never exceed) and 12,000ft ceiling. Additionally it has begun hover performance testing in and out of ground effect and initial autorotation testing.
December 18, 2015