Friday, July 3

25 Years From Flight to Flight

Yesterday marked Canada Day and the first flight of the Bell Helicopter 525 Relentless in Amarillo, Texas. I do not know if this was coincidence or intent. I was fortunate to work on that program for much of its early development, though I was unable to see its first flight in person. It was one of the few “completely brand new” developments that most engineers get to see in their careers nowadays. It was a collaboration of the Bell sites in Texas and in Canada, as well as many suppliers. The first flight is shown below.


A while back I got to see “my own” previous first flight of a “completely brand new” aircraft. It was the YF-23 Black Widow II. It’s first flight will be 25 years ago next month (August 27). Its first flight is shown below. The quality isn’t as good since it was my own video shot at the event at Edwards AFB. Less than a year later, we had signs up around our area saying “will design the world’s most advanced fighter jet for food.” I pray the Bell 525 works out a lot better. Only time will tell. 

7 comments:

RANTWICK said...

Wow Steve, that is really cool and the 525 looks great. Congratulations! It must be quite a feeling to see something go from concept to real flying machine. I hope it becomes a great commercial success (unlike example 2!).

Chandra Eswaran said...

Hi Steve,
I liked both the videos.
I don't look for airplane/heli videos often and this was a nice opportunity - thanks.
Have a Great 4th!
Peace :)

cafiend said...

Wow. I sort of know you, and I know the guy who invented the widget that carbonates Guinness Draft in cans.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Did they use velcro, or stainless steel zip ties on the YF-23? I think you could say now.

Steve A said...

JRA - Yup, and it did its job. The only first flight problem I recall was a main landing gear door that gapped a bit due to inadequate preload.

Steve A said...

Rantwick, half the helicopter was designed in Canada, er, actually in Quebec. Je me souviens...

Trevor Woodford said...

Great stuff here Steve...enjoyed both videos.

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