Bell, a world-renowned manufacturer of civilian and military rotary aircraft, moved another step forward on its flight certification test program with the Bell Model 525 Relentless at the Buttonwillow Airport in northwest Kern County.  Identifying the area as a good place for acoustic signature testing, Buttonwillow Airport was exceptional for its location away from background noise while also being nearby Bakersfield to support the test operation technicians.  Bell completed its collection of aircraft acoustics over the last three weeks.

“We were able to get our test data very easily while simultaneously practicing social distancing because the monitoring locations are naturally hundreds of feet apart”, said Mike Bucka, AAAI, testing project manager.  “The weather was more of an issue for this effort, but we were able to work our schedule around the rainstorms.”

The Bell’s 525 Relentless is a new, super-medium lift Helicopter for 16+2 passengers with both civilian and military applications for energy industry, corporate, public safety, search & rescue, and military troop transport mission profiles. It is 21st Century design with triplex fly-by-wire controls, single-engine capability, and a modern cockpit design to reduce pilot workload.

While commercial and general aviation is experiencing tremendous reductions in demand for services in recent days as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some small areas where work and safety are always intertwined.  Aviation design and manufacturing companies work in timelines that stretch for decades. Their product design and development efforts plan for the needs of pilots and passengers to serve future mission requirements including safety, health, and reduced impact on the environment.