If everything goes to plan and Bell Helicopter delivers its first 525 Relentless in 2016 to an as-yet unannounced customer, it will mark the end of the first chapter in the battle for market supremacy in the emerging segment for super-medium rotorcraft. Rivals AgustaWestland and Airbus Helicopters have already attained certification of their offerings in the weight class with the AW189 and EC175, respectively, so to some extent Bell is playing catch-up. Of course the company argues that the 525 will be worth waiting for – offering a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW), better performance and reliability and, with a cockpit kitted out with the latest avionics and fly-by-wire controls, massively enhanced safety.
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