BAE Systems to Provide Fly-By-Wire Flight Control Computers for Bell Helicopter 525 Relentless Aircraft

Feb. 14, 2012

ENDICOTT, New York — Bell Helicopter has selected BAE Systems to provide fly-by-wire flight control computers for its 525 Relentless super medium class helicopter. BAE Systems flight control computers provide the ability to operate in austere environments safely and reliably, with decreased pilot workload.

“BAE Systems has more than five decades of experience developing and producing flight control and vehicle management systems for all types of aircraft,” said Joe Senftle, vice president of communications and control solutions for BAE Systems. “Our industry-leading record of technology innovation, reliability, and successful development programs will ensure best-in-class operations for the 525 Relentless helicopter.”

The fly-by-wire systems have a proven record in the harshest operating environments in the world. The company’s pioneering technology and continual advancements in the areas of redundancy management, fault-tolerant design, health monitoring systems, and failure mode analysis have established BAE Systems as a world leader in control system reliability and integrity.

Through the strategic relationship announced yesterday, BAE Systems will provide Bell Helicopter with the flight control computers under a systems development and demonstration contract to deliver flight-qualified units to be used for flight test and certification, with follow-on production work over the next five years. The development work will be conducted in the Southern Tier of New York, with production at BAE Systems’ facility in Ft. Wayne, Ind.

The fly-by-wire system provides pilots with the ability to fly demanding missions in uncontrolled environments, without external navigation or landing aids. The system is a full-authority digital flight controller that provides fly-by-wire flight control, integrated flight and propulsion control, aircraft center-of-gravity computation for stores and fuel contents, structural air loads alleviation, and superior handling performance.