Bell and Wintershall Dea Set Sights for Innovative North Sea Operations


During HAI 2020, Bell announced their collaboration with Norwegian oil and gas operator, Wintershall Dea Norge AS, to bring enhanced helicopter operational safety to the North Sea.

“Wintershall Dea is a pioneer in their industry and working together with Bell, we believe we will challenge industry norms and create a new standard of innovation in the oil and gas industry and North Sea operations,” said Byron Ward, vice president, Bell 525 Program. “The technology integrated into the 525 is a generational leap forward and will revolutionize their operations.”


Bell designed the Bell 525 with fly-by-wire flight controls, industry leading drive system performance and fully integrated vehicle health monitoring. The 525 drive system architecture is also precedent setting. Bell has removed all high speed drives from the main rotor gearbox and put them in independent and redundant reduction and accessory drive gearboxes.  This greatly simplifies the main rotor gearbox and minimizes failure modes. 

“Wintershall Dea is always looking into ways to improve the way the company operates. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to significantly improve how our employees travel to work offshore,” said Alv. Solheim, Managing Director of Wintershall Dea in Norway.

The two companies are committed to enhancing helicopter operational safety in the North Sea.

“Operating helicopters at the Norwegian continental shelf is demanding in terms of climate, industry- regulations, as well as demanding customers and user groups. The Bell 525 is introducing a new technology level for helicopters to service the transport and SAR requirements on the Norwegian Continental Shelf,”

said Ole Petter Bakken of the Norwegian Aviation & Defense Group, Bell’s representative in Norway.

All of this technology and enhanced safety is packaged in a striking aircraft with an incredibly smooth ride and fast cruise speeds. Passenger comfort is a priority and base oil and gas configured seating is 20” wide seats for 16 passengers. Furthermore, every passenger has good visibility and can touch their respective emergency exit window.

“We are very pleased about this collaboration with Wintershall Dea to work toward the new standard in the North Sea, jointly looking at enhancing safety, passenger experience and cost of operations,” said Patrick Moulay, senior vice president, Commercial Business – International. “The Bell 525 was designed with the oil and gas market in mind and we see opportunity for the aircraft to enhance safety and efficiency of operations through 525 technology.”

Bell and Wintershall Dea met at HAI 2020 in front of the Bell 525 aircraft to commemorate their relationship.

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

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