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French Court Rules in Favor of Bell Helicopter


Bell Helicopter, October 16, 2012 - FORT WORTH, TX - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc company announced in the case of Eurocopter vs. Bell Helicopter, a three Judge panel of France's Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris recently ruled that the Bell 429 production skid gear does not infringe Eurocopter's French landing skid gear patent. All Bell 429s have been and will continue to be delivered with the current production gear.

"This ruling by the French court, once again validating the design of the Bell 429 production skid gear, is a resounding victory for Bell Helicopter," said John L. Garrison, President and CEO of Bell Helicopter. "Integrity is woven into the fiber of our company and we work tirelessly to ensure our actions are consistent with this core value."

In finding that the Bell 429's skid gear does not infringe the Eurocopter patent, the French Court dismissed the claims against Bell Helicopter. The Court also ordered Eurocopter to pay the costs of the proceedings, and to pay BHTI and Bell Canada each the sum of €65,000 in costs.

"We intend to continue to vigorously defend the production gear in the pending Eurocopter infringement suit in the U.S. This ruling underscores the Canadian court's decision in a similar ruling in favor of Bell Helicopter and provides strong support for our position," said Garrison.

The Bell 429 is the world's newest and most advanced light twin-engine helicopter. It has set the standard for light twins; delivers exceptional speed, range, hover performance and enhanced safety margins, with comfort and cost management unmatched by any competitor. With superior speed, best-in-class cabin volume, state-of-the-art glass flight deck that enhances crew situational awareness, and Bell Helicopter's industry leading support and services, the Bell 429 is quickly becoming the preferred aircraft in the light, twin-engine market. The Bell 429 offers superior mission capability and adaptability, and is available in configuration options ranging from VIP to HEMS, law enforcement, utility and oil & gas.

About Bell Helicopter: Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

About Textron Inc. 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 Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems.


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