|Photo courtesy of Bell|
Bell Helicopter moved the 525 Relentless prototype Dec. 1 from its Amarillo, Texas, assembly site to the XworX research and development facility near the company’s Fort Worth headquarters for the next phase of flight tests. It was scheduled to remain in testing, including validation of hover performance in and out of ground effect, at its Arlington, Texas, Municipal Airport facility through Dec. 31. At press time, that aircraft had accumulated 60 of 1,500 planned flight test hours. Bell said it already had completed testing up to the 525’s never-exceed speed (VNE) at most flight envelope extremes and expanded the maneuvering envelope out to 0.5 and 2 g. The company said it also had achieved the 525’s targeted maximum bank angle in level turns, achieved power-off VNE and demonstrated max power-off bank angles and aircraft maneuverability.