Anaheim, CA (February 26, 2014) – Today at HELI-EXPO 2014, Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced a letter of intent for 10 Bell 525 RelentlessTM aircraft. Abu Dhabi Aviation chose the Bell 525 for its versatility to support a number of missions based in the UAE, including offshore oil and gas, emergency medical support, VIP transport, firefighting and search and rescue. Bell Helicopter has designated Abu Dhabi Aviation as the lead customer for the Middle East, Africa and Eurasia.
"We have spent more than half a century serving the Middle East, and Abu Dhabi Aviation has been a large part of that history," said Bell Helicopter President and CEO John Garrison. “The 525 Relentless is the perfect aircraft complement to their existing fleet and we are absolutely thrilled to have them as our launch customer for the region."
Abu Dhabi Aviation is the largest commercial operator in the Middle East, operating 38 Bell Helicopters. The company has been operating Bell Helicopter aircraft for more than 30 years, flying more than 750,000 flight hours in Bell 412 and Bell 212 helicopters. It will now add the Bell 525 to its fleet.
The Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, able to operate in austere environments safely and reliably with decreased pilot workload. Developed with continuous customer input, the Bell 525 offers unparalleled situational awareness and enhanced safety and reliability with the first touch screen glass flight deck designed for helicopters. The Bell 525 also features the reliable performance enabled by world-class GE engines, a Garmin G5000H fully-integrated glass flight deck, and Bell's (Lift Assist Tail Boom Design) LATD™ technology for improved hover performance. The Relentless can comfortably accommodate 16 passengers and two crew members and has a cruise speed of 155 knots and a range of 500 nautical miles. Testing is underway in Bell Helicopter’s fully integrated System Integration Lab (SIL), allowing for virtual flight testing of the Bell 525. Bell Helicopter is currently on course for the first flight of the Bell 525 late this year with two aircraft currently in assembly.
HELI-EXPO 2014, held in the Anaheim Convention Center, will host 20,000 industry professionals, more than 700 competitive exhibitors, over 60 helicopters on display and more than 50 educational opportunities, including education courses, seminars, workshops and forums.