Bell Helicopter to Re-Enter the Short Light Single Market
Bell Helicopter, June 17, 2013 - Paris, France - Today at the 2013 Paris Air Show, Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announced its return to the short light single (SLS) engine helicopter market with a new product designed to specifications based on the input of a customer advisory council. Bell Helicopter's new, five-seat entry-level aircraft is expected to complete its first flight in 2014 with certification to follow as quickly as possible.
"Bell Helicopter is no stranger to the short light single market. We developed it nearly 50 years ago with the introduction of the Bell 206 JetRanger and are proud to have produced nearly 7,400 Bell 206 series aircraft since 1967 with over 4,400 remaining in service today," said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. "However, we needed to create a new, modernized aircraft to meet requirements of five-seat utility, training, private, and law enforcement operators."
Bell Helicopter's new short light single engine helicopter will feature a high visibility, fully flat cabin floor with five forward-facing seats. It is designed to meet performance targets recommended by the customer advisory council, including a speed of 125 knots (232 km), a range of 360 to 420 nautical miles (667 km) and a useful load of 1,500 pounds (608 kg).
"The SLS class is both extremely competitive and price sensitive, so we collaborated with customers to incorporate their mission needs in a high performance, high value helicopter at a very competitive price," Garrison added.
The new aircraft will be powered by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine, which will offer the benchmark for performance and power in the 450-550 shp class, while improving safety and lowering pilot workload with Full Authority Dual-Channel Engine Control (FADEC). It will also meet IATA Stage 4 noise targets.
Additional safety enhancing design features will reduce pilot workload, improve situational awareness and deliver superior auto rotation capabilities. The combination of capabilities, performance characteristics and value will be backed by Bell Helicopter's industry-leading service and support. The new helicopter is expected to achieve first flight in 2014. Bell Helicopter will continue to release key information about the product and suppliers throughout its development.
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.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; the timing of our new product launches or certifications of our new aircraft products; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; performance issues with key suppliers or subcontractors; difficult conditions in the financial markets which may adversely impact our customers' ability to fund or finance purchases of our products; and continued demand softness or volatility in the markets in which we do business.
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