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Bell 525 prototype crashes in Texas, crew killed

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posted on Jul, 6 2016 @ 11:00 PM
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Another accident in the Bell 525R Relentless program has led to the flight crew being killed. The first prototype, which began the flight test program crashed approximately 75 miles Southwest of Fort Worth, Texas. The aircraft has been flying out of the Bell facility in Amarillo.

The 525 would be the first commercial helicopter with a full fly by wire flight control system. The type is expected to enter service next year.

In 2012, a Bell 214ST was flying with the transmission and rotor components of the 525. The crew made a right turn, and heard a bang from the aircraft. The chase aircraft reported something coming off the tail boom. The flight crew was able to auto rotate down to a nearby field, but the aircraft yawed right and rolled as they were landing.

www.flightglobal.com...

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Jul, 6 2016 @ 11:44 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Such a tragedy......Can you elaborate a little more on how the Bell Aircraft operates and its benefits...Sorry, i am not very familiar.

Thanks so much!

Pax



posted on Jul, 7 2016 @ 07:36 AM
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There's marketing videos on the Bell 525 here:

www.youtube.com...

The FBW controls are interesting - seems like it will be one hell of a helicopter. I wonder however, what caused the crash?



posted on Jul, 7 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: paxnatus

Fly by wire controls are more responsive than mechanically linked flight controls. That allows the pilot more finesse on the controls. It also has a system that will assist the pilot with hovering, which is the hardest aspect of flight in a helicopter.



posted on Jul, 7 2016 @ 09:18 AM
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I am so sorry about the loss of life.
The 525 youtu.be...



posted on Jul, 7 2016 @ 11:41 AM
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Test flying helicopters is a very dangerous undertaking. When things go wrong it does very quickly. The pilots have to first understand what is happening and then act accordingly.

On the first crash the chase helo said parts actually came off of the testbed. This leads me to think that it is a programming problem that exceeded the structural integrity of the helicopter. The other though was a mechanical failure in the tail rotor or TR gearbox.

I would like to express my sympathy and prayers to the families in their time of grief.



posted on Jul, 7 2016 @ 12:46 PM
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a reply to: buddah6

Looks like you're right. The tail boom was found nearly a quarter mile from the impact site. They thought they clipped a power pole, but a deputy investigating said there was no evidence they did.



posted on Jul, 8 2016 @ 06:24 PM
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Two farmers told a sheriff's deputy that they hit a power line and exploded but there was no evidence of that and power was unaffected after the crash.

Radar data showed them at 199 knots and about 2,000 feet just before the crash. They were testing at different speeds and altitudes. Radar showed them at 190 knots and 2600 feet, down to 150 knots.

www.star-telegram.com...



posted on Jul, 10 2016 @ 07:42 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

This is really awful news. The 525 has to be the one of the prettiest medium -sized helicopters ever built. It's seriously Dauphin 2 levels of good looking.

Hopefully it's something relatively minor and not some sort of major design flaw.



posted on Jul, 11 2016 @ 11:26 AM
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We're just guessing! It will take a long time to find the cause and fix the problem.



posted on Jul, 11 2016 @ 11:28 AM
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The 525 has the classic Bell profile...it's beautiful in a sense.



posted on Jul, 11 2016 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: buddah6

I'm a sucker for Bell birds, my "Mega Millions Dream Helicopter™" would be a 214ST.



posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 12:36 PM
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I just finished reading an article in Vertiflite magazine that says, Bell is confirming that the 525 had an in flight breakup.



posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: buddah6

gearbox failure leading to a rapid unscheduled disassembly?



posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 01:17 PM
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a reply to: buddah6

The NTSB said rotations per minute dropped significantly, and the rotor dropped from its plane of rotation. The main rotor hit both the nose and the tail boom.



posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

That sounds like a failure of the Main Gear Box support structure. It their anything mentioned about the aircraft's attitude at the time of the failure?



posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 01:26 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Not yet. They haven't released the preliminary report yet, just bits of it.



posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 01:31 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Very sad that they died. Sorry to hear that.
But I was disappointed that it was a helicopter, I thought from the headline that it was a Nazi Bell craft.



posted on Jul, 29 2016 @ 04:42 PM
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originally posted by: Bfirez
a reply to: buddah6

gearbox failure leading to a rapid unscheduled disassembly?

I hate those unscheduled disassembly.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:01 AM
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The crew was performing single engine failure tests at the time of the crash.




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