Bell Helicopter (chalet L2) has contracted UK aerostructures specialist GKN Aerospace (Innovation Zone) to provide fuselage components for the 525 Relentless super medium twin in developent. The helicopter's first first flight is due in 2014.
The work package covers aluminium and composite panels and structural parts in the cockpit, cabin and tail boom. Manufacture is scheduled to start late this year, with deliveries to follow from 2013.
GKN's facility in St. Louis, Missouri, will provide aluminium bulkheads, frames and spares, while the company's site in Tallassee, Alabama, will produce composite components including skin panels, bulkheads and frame assemblies.
Kevin Cummings, chief executive of GKN's North American division, says Bell's weight and performance requirements during the design phase have been "demanding", and that the programme would exploit GKN's expertise in composite manufacture and metal machining.