TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading supplier of advanced composite materials for aerospace and industrial applications, has begun production of compression moulded parts for the Bell 525 Relentless helicopter programme.
On July 1, 2015 the programme achieved its first flight. Currently, there are approximately a dozen parts per aircraft in applications ranging from access doors to engine compartment walls.
Compression moulded composite parts provide producer Bell Helicopter with high grade, lightweight and cost saving materials that allow fabrication of complex parts in one efficient moulding cycle. The chopped carbon fibre parts build upon Bell Helicopter’s experience from several leading edge defence applications, including the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor programme, according to a press release.
Matt Cano, director of sales at TenCate Advanced Composites in Camarillo, California, US said, “This is a good example of how an industry leader like Bell Helicopter utilises compression moulded parts to achieve cost savings on military programmes, and developed an expertise which was able to cross over into civil programmes.”
The Bell 525 Relentless represents the world’s first fly by wire commercial helicopter and features a touch-screen glass cockpit. This helicopter is designed to accommodate 16 passengers and two crew members and can be configured for a variety of mission needs. (GK)