Orlando, Florida – Officials from Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., have announced that Waypoint Leasing (Ireland) Ltd. has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to acquire 20 Bell 525 Relentless helicopters with options for additional aircraft. Waypoint Leasing provides operating lease and financing solutions to helicopter operators worldwide. Headquartered in Limerick, Ireland, it also has operations in Darien, Connecticut.
Waypoint plans to provide the Bell 525 Relentless to operators servicing a wide range of missions, including oil and gas, emergency medical service, search and rescue, firefighting, and governmental support. Waypoint’s existing fleet of more than 90 aircraft includes Bell 407s and Bell 412s, Bell Helicopter’s medium-lift utility helicopters.
Waypoint’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Washecka and Bell Helicopter’s President and CEO, John Garrison, participated in a formal ceremony at Heli-Expo (HAI) in Orlando, Florida, to commemorate the agreement.
“We are pleased to sign this agreement with Bell Helicopter, which will provide us with cutting-edge and versatile aircraft that we believe offer an attractive value proposition for operators worldwide,” said Washecka. “The Bell 525 incorporates a number of technological advancements that enhance safety, improve performance, and reduce costs. We are excited to build on our existing relationship with Bell and look forward to bringing the Bell 525 Relentless to the market.”
The Bell 525 fly-by-wire commercial helicopter is designed to operate safely and reliably in austere environments with decreased pilot workload. The aircraft integrates critical systems data with a touch screen flight deck designed for helicopters, the Garmin G5000H.
The Bell 525 is being tested in Bell Helicopter’s fully integrated System Integration Lab (SIL), allowing for virtual flight testing of the Bell 525 before first flight, which is scheduled for spring 2015.
“This landmark agreement is one of the largest commercial helicopter orders in Bell Helicopter’s 80 year history, and demonstrates that the marketplace recognizes the capabilities and unmatched value of the Bell 525 Relentless,” Garrison added.