New Aircraft Preview: Bell 525 Relentless
By Mark Huber; Business Jet Traveler
The rumors had been swirling for years: Bell Helicopter was working on something big. Insiders called it “Project X” or “Magellan.” Some people thought it was a replacement for the 412, the civil descendant of the infamous Huey that became a legend during the Vietnam War.
They were wrong. What Bell finally unveiled in 2012 was something radically different and far more ambitious: the 525 Relentless. It’s a “super-medium” twin-engine helicopter with retractable-wheel landing gear and seating for up to 16 or 20 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. Bell has developed several kits for the 525 and plans to have the most popular ones available when it delivers the aircraft.
In addition to the red-hot offshore energy market, the company envisions a variety of uses for the helicopter, including law-enforcement, air-ambulance, search-and-rescue and coastal-patrol work and, of course, corporate and VIP transportation. Layouts for the latter are expected to seat eight to 12 passengers and to incorporate all the entertainment, information and high-speed-connectivity equipment that you can find on the latest private jets.