AgustaWestland (Pavilion OE1) is offering an increased-gross-weight version of its AW609 tiltrotor, which trades off some vertical takeoff capability for a higher payload limit. This will make it more attractive for some missions where vertical capabilities are not needed on departure.
The drive to find international customers for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor continues, prompting four U.S. Marine Corps MV-22s to make a transatlantic trip to fly displays and demonstrations here at Farnborough and at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Fairford last weekend. Aircraft for export could easily be slotted into the expected second American multi-year buy, Col. Greg Masiello, joint V-22 program manager, U.S.
Bell Helicopters is pressing ahead with the secondary design phase for the development of the new 525 Relentless helicopter that it launched in February. Here at the Farnborough International Airshow, the U.S. airframer is displaying a mockup of the super-medium twin, which is on track to make a first flight around the turn of 2013/14 and then enter service in 2015.
Program officials say the procurement objectives and operations of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey remain on track as the U.S. Navy investigates the latest crash of the tiltrotor.
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison told AIN that his company deliberately opted to use proven technologies on its recently announced super-medium twin, the 525 Relentless.
Bell’s XworX has developed into a project-oriented, rapid prototyping shop charged with fashioning targeted solutions to specific aircraft initiatives.
Housed in a hangar at Arlington Airport, Texas, since 2004, XworX initially had the reputation in the industry as being concerned with esoteric and abstract future technologies, sort of a “department of mad scientists.”
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison told AIN that his company is seeking airframe partners on its new 525 Relentless super-medium twin, which was announced last month at Heli-Expo in Dallas. “We’re looking at that. On the airframe side there are some potential partners that we are in detailed discussions with, but it is too early to announce anything yet,” he said.
The U.S. Navy’s latest attempt to replace the aging Presidential helicopter fleet has been delayed. The Pentagon rejected an analysis of alternatives (AoA) for the VXX program because no “cost-effective” solution was identified, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
John Garrison, CEO of Bell Helicopter (Booth No. 9846), said on Sunday he believed that 2011 was the market bottom for the civil helicopter sector and that Bell’s newly-announced 525 super-medium twin program would proceed regardless of whether the Pentagon ordered more V-22 Bell/Boeing tiltrotors after 2014.
Today, Bell Helicopter formally launched the 525 “Relentless” super-medium twin, the largest civil helicopter in the company’s history. The helicopter is an 18,000-pound “plus” ship aimed squarely at the offshore market with a range of more than 400 nm, a speed near 150 knots and a ceiling of 20,000 feet. Offshore helicopter service provider PHI is the launch customer.
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