GKN Aerospace to provide composites for Bell 525 Relentless helicopter

Two GKN Aerospace facilities in the United States will manufacture key metal and composite structures for the cockpit, cabin and tailboom on the new 525 Relentless helicopter fuselage.

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GKN Aerospace (Isle of Wight, U.K.) reported on July 7 that it has been selected to provide Bell Helicopter Textron (Ft. Worth, Texas) with key metal and composite structures across the new 525 Relentless helicopter fuselage.

This work package includes composite and aluminium fuselage panels and structural parts installed in the cockpit, cabin and tailboom. Manufacture will begin in late 2012 with initial deliveries scheduled for 2013 and continuing through to the end of 2015.

Two GKN Aerospace North American facilities, in St. Louis, Mo., and Tallassee, Ala., will undertake the manufacture of these components and assemblies. The St. Louis site will supply complex machined aluminium bulkheads, frames and spars; the Tallassee site will produce composite structure, including skins, bulkheads and frame assemblies.

Kevin Cummings, CEO of GKN Aerospace, North America, say,: “GKN Aerospace engineers have worked closely with the Bell Helicopter team through the structural design phase of this program. Together we have met the demanding weight and performance requirements for structures and assemblies that will equip this airframe from tip to tail — and whose manufacture will exploit our expertise across composite manufacture and metal machining. We are extremely proud to play our part in the creation of this first in a new class of ‘Super Medium’ helicopters.”