mandag 10. juli 2017

Helikopter - Bell 525 fortsetter testingen - Curt Lewis

Bell 525 Resumes Flight Testing

Today, a year and a day after the fatal crash of its first prototype, Bell Helicopter resumed the flight test program of its model 525 Relentless super-medium twin after receiving experimental certificate renewal from the FAA.

"Today we have resumed a key element of the Bell 525 program," said Bell CEO Mitch Snyder. "Bell Helicopter has worked with the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA since the accident and we are confident in the resumption of flight test activity." Snyder said Bell remains on track to certify the 525 in 2018. The 525 features fly-by-wire flight controls and the Garmin G5000H touchscreen-controlled avionics system. The flight test program had been stood down since the fatal crash of 525 flight test vehicle 1 (FTV-1) last July 6th.

Neither of the remaining two test aircraft had engaged in ground runs during the standdown. Two more test aircraft are being built at Bell's plant in Amarillo, Texas. One of those new aircraft is expected to fly this year and the other early next year.

The NTSB has yet to issue its final report on the FTV-1 accident. That aircraft was conducting tests near Vne speeds when the main rotor rpm dropped off and the main rotors departed the normal rotation plane and struck both the tailboom and the nose during the in-flight break-up sequence that destroyed the helicopter, according to the NTSB. A Bell executive told AIN last year that the company was making unspecified modifications to the remaining test aircraft in the wake of the accident.

Bell Helicopter’s twin-engine 525 Relentless is back in the air after being grounded for about a year following a fatal crash in Texas, the company has announced. Two Bell Helicopter pilots were killed in July 2016 when the 525 crashed during a test flight near the company’s facility in eastern Texas. “Bell Helicopter has worked with the NTSB and FAA since the accident and we are confident in the resumption of flight test activity,” said Mitch Snyder, Bell’s CEO. The FAA has renewed the aircraft’s experimental certificate. “The team is focused on certification in 2018 and we are committed to bringing this innovative and high-performing helicopter to market,” Snyder said.
The NTSB investigation is "ongoing," NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson told AVweb on Tuesday. "The next step in the process will be to open the public docket, which I expect later this summer," he said. The Bell 525 is the world’s first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter, the company says, and is designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with less pilot workload. The aircraft features the first fully integrated touch screen avionics suite designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H. The company says the 525’s payload, cabin, cargo volumes and passenger comfort are designed to be best-in-class.

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