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Equinor signs first Bell 525 helicopter deal, purchasing 10 for North Sea offshore operations

March 1, 2024  By Helicopters Staff

The Bell 525 incorporates fly-by-wire flight controls with offshore-configured aircraft scheduled to come off the production line in 2024. (Photo: Bell Textron)

Bell Textron signed a purchase agreement with Equinor for the sale of 10 Bell 525 aircraft for North Sea offshore operations with deliveries expected to begin in 2026.

“Our relationship with Equinor will enhance the standard of innovation for oil and gas missions and North Sea operations,” said Danny Maldonado, Chief Commercial Officer, Bell. “The Bell 525 technology provides a generational leap forward and will revolutionize offshore oil and gas operations by providing enhanced safety capabilities, reliability and optimized operations.”

The Bell 525 is powered by two 1,800-shp GE Aviation GE CT7-2F1 engines which received FAA type certification in Fall 2019. (Photo: Bell)

Norwegian Aviation and Defense Group representing Bell in Norway supported the Equinor agreement. “Bell has delivered aircraft and reliable services for more than 30 years to Norwegian operators, both in the government and commercial spheres, and will continue to do the same to the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the Energy sector,” said Norwegian Aviation and Defense Group’s Chief Executive Ole Petter Bakken. “We are looking forward to developing this further with Equinor.”

The Bell 525 incorporates fly-by-wire flight controls and fully integrated vehicle health monitoring. Bell explains the 525-drive system architecture is also precedent setting with all high-speed drives removed from the main rotor gearbox to incorporate independent and redundant reduction and accessory drive gearboxes. Bell 525 production is ongoing at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas with offshore-configured aircraft coming off the line in 2024.



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