“The Middle East remains a very important market for AgustaWestland,” said CEO Daniele Romiti on the eve of this year’s Dubai Airshow. “It is a challenging market, where personal relationships have a great importance,” he added.
Bell Helicopter recently delivered seven of an order for 15 Bell 429s light twin-engine helicopters to the Turkish National Police. The helicopters were accepted during September and October by the police, which immediately started operating them for surveillance, personnel transport and air support of ground operations. Each aircraft is equipped with multi-sensor cameras and microwave downlink.
The Bell 412EPI will be cleared for more procedures at elevated helipads early next year, according to Bell Helicopter, which is launching an upgrade program next month to incorporate improvements to increase operational flexibility for CAT A Part B procedures. The program will cover the use of circular and rectangular elevated heliports and should be finished in time for initial deliveries of the 412EPI in the first quarter of 2014, said the company.
Bell Helicopter (Booth No. C9343) continued to expand its global presence last month with purchase agreements covering seven aircraft signed during Jet Expo 2013 in Moscow and a deal with Heli-Charter involving the first Bell 429 configured for air ambulance operations in the UK.
Bell Helicopter announced an upgrade program for its 412EPI that will increase the helicopter’s operational flexibility to meet future regulatory and mission needs. The program will focus on further testing and improvements of the rotorcraft’s Category A certification to provide increased operational flexibility for Cat A Part B procedures with respect to elevated heliports, as well as the use of circular and rectangular elevated heliports. The upgrade program will start next month and conclude early next year, allowing for deliveries of upgraded Bell 412EPIs to begin next year.
Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s largest supplier, has joined forces with Bell Helicopter on the V-280 being proposed for the DoD’s joint multi-role (JMR) technology demonstrator program. The move by Lockheed Martin comes one month after the company announced it is developing a “universal” avionics and weapons package for the Army’s JMR aircraft even before selection of an airframe. As many as 4,000 helicopters could be acquired under the program.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter both contributed to the design and development of parent company Textron’s new Scorpion military jet, which was unveiled yesterday. According to a Textron spokesman, Bell brought composite expertise to the project, while Cessna designed and built the jet at its Pawnee facility in Wichita. A nearly completed prototype, which has been fitted with a pair of Honeywell TFE731 turbofans, is expected to fly by year-end.
Cessna and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron and partner AirLand Enterprises unveiled a prototype intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance/strike aircraft named “Scorpion” at the Air Force Association Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Monday.
While Bell Helicopter may be banking on its tiltrotor technology to recapture market dominance in U.S. Army aviation, the civil market will continue to rely on conventional helicopter design for some years to come, CEO John Garrison told AIN.
TAM Aviação Executiva (Stand 1015), representing Bell Helicopter in Brazil, is rolling out the red carpet for the OEM’s new “short light single” (SLR) helicopter.