Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, unveiled its new 525 Experience Center at the Stavanger Airport in Norway. The center is an innovative space designed to showcase the Bell 525 capabilities for customers in Norway who perform missions in oil and gas, search and rescue (SAR), and military operations.
“Norway is a key market for Bell, and we are proud to establish our presence here,” said Patrick Moulay, senior vice president, Commercial Business. “We look forward to hosting key stakeholders to experience the Bell 525 and see firsthand how this 21st century aircraft will revolutionize customers’ operations.”
Bell has partnered with its Independent Representative (IR), Norwegian Aviation & Defense Group, in country to establish this facility. The center is located inside a hangar and displays the 525 mockup with interactive workstations for potential customers to learn more about the aircraft and its capabilities.
“This center is an exciting next step for Bell in Norway,” said Ole Petter Bakken, CEO of Norwegian Aviation Defense Group. “We will be able to showcase to customers the new technology the Bell 525 can provide for the energy sector, defense and SAR markets.”
Last year at HAI Heli-Expo 2020, Bell announced the Bell 525 collaboration agreement with Norwegian oil and gas operator Wintershall Dea Norge AS to bring enhanced helicopter operational safety to the North Sea. Bell’s involvement with Wintershall has helped develop a new standard of innovation in the oil and gas industry and North Sea operations.
“Wintershall Dea fully supports the opening of the new Bell 525 Experience Center,” said Alv Solheim, managing director, Wintershall Dea. “We are always looking into ways to advance the way that we operate. This collaboration gives us opportunity to significantly improve how our employees travel to work offshore.”
The Bell 525 is designed to be the best-in-class aircraft expected to support operations in Norway and revolutionize the oil and gas transport industry. It is anticipated to be the first commercial fly-by-wire (FBW) helicopter to be certified. This design architecture reduces pilot workload, increases pilot situational awareness and improves the aircraft’s handling qualities. The Bell 525 also is expected to support both Wintershall Dea’s and Textron’s sustainability objectives by consuming 30 percent less fuel per hour of operation than the heavy class helicopters that fly offshore today on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.