Bell selects Donaldson to protect Bell 525
Sept. 24, 2013, London, U.K. - Donaldson Company, Inc. has been selected by Bell Helicopter to provide advanced filtration systems for the protection of all gearboxes and engines on its newest helicopter, the Bell 525 Relentless.
By Carey Fredericks
Donaldson Aerospace & Defense Group will begin supplying transmission oil filter assemblies for installation in the Bell 525 Relentless’ main rotor gearbox, tail rotor gearbox, intermediate gearbox and reduction gearbox in 2014. The new helicopter has been designed in part for customers seeking greater payload efficiency, range and reliability in transporting crews to more distant offshore oil and gas platforms.
Donaldson has also finalized the terms of a contract with Bell to develop and provide Inlet Barrier Filter (IBF) systems as factory-installed options to protect the Bell 525 Relentless’ two main General Electric CT7-2F1 engines and Honeywell RE100 auxiliary power unit from the damaging and performance-degrading effects of dirt, dust, salt, sand and foreign objects.
Donaldson is currently designing the new IBFs and will deliver prototypes to Bell in early 2014 for the first flight of the Bell 525 Relentless later that year. Bell customers will have the option of selecting the basic engine inlet or the inlet design that integrates the Donaldson IBF. The IBFs also would be available for retrofit on the helicopter.
Launched in February 2012, the Bell 525 Relentless was designed with the assistance of select customers to carry up to 16 passengers and two pilots. In addition to the offshore oil industry, it is targeted at search and rescue, corporate/executive transport and emergency medical services missions. The Bell 525 Relentless will incorporate advanced technologies that include fly-by-wire flight controls, a touch-screen-controlled flight deck and the Donaldson advanced filtration systems.
“Like Bell Helicopter, Donaldson has a long history of technological innovation that provides industry-leading performance and reliability to our customers,” said Mark Rigby, General Manager of Global Aerospace & Defense. “We are proud to be working with Bell on the 525 Relentless, which will set new standards of capability for the helicopter industry.”