Bell Helicopter has expanded the list of equipment, parts and tooling suppliers that will be involved with the development of the 525 Relentless. The Textron subsidiary unveiled the “super medium” class helicopter in February 2012 at Heli-Expo in Dallas.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based manufacturer has secured agreements with GKN Aerospace and Triumph Group involving airframe structures, including complex engineering and composites. Charlotte, N.C.-based Goodrich will provide ice protection systems, Israel Aerospace Industries will work on the seating, with Mecaer Aviation Group focused on the landing gear, Kuka on major structure tooling, and Pacifica Engineering on rotor and drive tooling. According to Bell, the suppliers will also work with the manufacturer on the design and delivery of the components as part of the drive toward the first 525 prototype.
Larry Thimmesch, vice president of commercial programs, notes that the agreements come as the program is transitioning from the preliminary into the detailed design phase. As part of the preliminary phase, Bell gathered input from a customer advisory panel to help shape the design and features of the helicopter, which will receive power from GE CT7-2F1s.