After its maiden flight last July, the Bell 525 Relentless test flight programme is well under way, with a third prototype due to enter the scene within the coming weeks.
Bell Helicopter’s latest twin-engine is imposing. With its 85 square feet (8 m2) cabin, the 525 Relentless can accommodate, over and above its two pilots, up to twenty passengers in boardroom-style comfort. It can also be configured in a VIP luxury version, a veritable flying limousine, complete with spacious armchairs, a coffee table and bar area as shown in these images.
The 525 Relentless’s cockpit is equipped with four large screens, and fly-by-wire flight controls providing improved stability and manoeuvrability of the rotorcraft; a first for a civilian helicopter. The 20,000 lb. (nine metric tonnes) helicopter has a 575 miles (900 kilometres) range and cruising speed of 190 mph (300 km/h).
Certification of the Bell 525 is expected next year, at an undisclosed list price, but which, according to several sources, should be around 15 million dollars apiece.