Low-speed handling and hovering was the focus of the maiden flight.
The first Bell 525 Relentless N525TA airborne at Amarillo, Texas, on July 1, 2015.
On July 7, 2017 Bell Helicopter announced the Bell 525 Relentless programme has resumed flight test activity after receiving experimental certificate renewal from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Bell Helicopter President and CEO, Mitch Snyder said the company had worked with the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA since the crash of the first prototype FTV-1, registration N525TA, on July 6 last year, adding the team is focused on certification in 2018.
The ARC Horizon flight deck in the Bell 525 Relentless uses Garmin G5000H avionics, including four large screens.
The Bell 525 is the first commercial helicopter to have a fully fly-by-wire cockpit.
Customers have been involved in designing more than 50 different role kits for the Relentless.
The Lift Assist Tail Boom Design features the vertical tailplane cantered slightly to the left. This mock-up lacks the sponsons for the main undercarriage, which were added in 2014.
Bell aims to capture a large percentage of the booming energy platform support role with the Model 525 Relentless. PHI was the first potential customer identified, the original mock-up being unveiled in its colours.
Offshore oil and gas transport is just one of the roles the Bell 525 Relentless is targeted at.
Bell is also promoting the Model 535 Relentless for the maritime search and rescue role.
Bell has designed the 525 to be repurposed - for example, from corporate transport to firefighting.