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Saturday January 13, 2007

Bell Helicopter Model 206 Reaches Milestone

Fort Worth, TEXAS, USA ( Bell Helicopter Press Release ) - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, today celebrated the 40th anniversary of its popular 206 model helicopter.

More than 4800 206B's and 1700 206L's have been produced since the introduction of the 206A JetRanger on January 13th, 1967, when the first two production aircraft were delivered to customers at a Helicopter Association International convention.

Since then, Bell has delivered five different generations of commercial 206's with its 206A/B JetRangers and 206L/L1/L3/L4 LongRangers, making the 206 aircraft the most popular turbine helicopter ever built.

"The success of the Bell 206 can be directly attributed to several factors. Bell's focus on listening to the customer and delivering the features they want in a helicopter. Bell's approach is to continuously insert technologies into the aircraft and that has kept it at the forefront of helicopters in its class," stated Bob Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Marketing and Sales for Bell.

Dorith Hakim, 206 program director said, "We are currently developing the latest upgrade kit for the 206L series helicopter that will improve its performance, boost payload and reduce direct operating costs. I believe this will help sustain the Bell 206 in the marketplace for years to come."

The 206B-3 JetRanger III offers operators the lowest operating costs and is known around the world for its ruggedness, reliability and simplicity. Its superior autorotation characteristics and robust cabin ensure that it is one of the safest aircraft in the air.

The 206L-4 LongRanger began with all the best features of the JetRanger, coupled with a stretched cabin and more powerful engine. The power margin makes it ideal for operating in hot weather and high altitude environments.

The Bell 206 fleet has recorded over 55 million flight hours in more than 60 different countries. Its missions are diverse: utility, corporate, EMS and Homeland Security. The JetRanger also is commonly used as a training helicopter with hundreds of NTH's delivered to the U.S. Navy and Army as well as other international militaries.

Bell 206 aircraft are currently produced at Bell Helicopter's facility in Mirabel, Canada, and have had a steady demand over the past 40 years.

Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor 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.

Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees in continuing operations. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, 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, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others.

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