For the seventh consecutive year Bell Helicopter has been named number one in helicopter product support in the AIN Product Support Survey.
Bell Helicopter signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this week to open an authorized flight training school in China. The Fort Worth, Texas-based helicopter manufacturer will partner with Guanchen Aviation, which already manages an established Civil Aviation Administration of China-approved flight training school in Anyang, China.
Bell Helicopter announced at EBACE that it completed deliveries of six of its newest helicopters in Europe over the past month. Three Bell 407GXs, the first of its kind in Europe, were delivered in Belgium, Denmark and, most recently, Iceland. Bell also shipped three Bell 429s in Russia and Ukraine. Bell showcased a Bell 429 medium twin outfitted for corporate missions at the European show. The helicopter on display is midway through a European demo tour, with upcoming stops in Belgium, Czech Republic the UK and Serbia.
Bell Helicopters (Stand 7091) has delivered six of its newest aircraft–Bell 407GX and Bell 429–in Europe and Ukraine, it announced at EBACE. “The Bell 407GX is attracting interest from corporate, private and utility operators due to its speed, range and state-of-the-art Garmin G100H flight deck, which maximizes pilot situational awareness,” said Danny Maldonado, executive vice president of commercial sales and marketing.
Bell Helicopter believes it is poised to rebuild market share in Europe with sales for its latest 429 model, which is on show here at EBACE (Stand 7091). For several years, the European market’s requirements for twin-engine rotorcraft has favored rivals Eurocopter and AgustaWestland.
Textron Defense Systems will start production of India’s order for 512 CBU-105 sensor fuzed weapons (SFW) soon. The $257.7 million sale was contracted via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales mechanism in November 2010. Encouraged by India’s continuing move away from reliance on Russian weapons, Textron is now marketing other defense systems in the country.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron reported first-quarter revenues of $2.9 billion yesterday, up 15.2 percent from a year ago, and $247 million in manufacturing profits, an $80 million increase attributable largely to Bell. While quarterly revenues at Cessna increased by $113 million year-over-year, to $669 million, the division still recorded a loss of $6 million, though the red ink was shallower than the $38 million loss in last year’s first quarter.
Bell Helicopter opened a new office in New Delhi today for all of its operations in India. The company has had a presence in India for nearly 20 years, opening a liaison office in 1995. There are currently more than 100 Bell helicopters operating throughout India, it noted.
“We believe there are tremendous growth opportunities in terms of sales and manufacturing [in India],” said Bell president and CEO John Garrison. “This is an important day for Bell Helicopter as we celebrate our continued commitment and partnership with our customers in India.”
Bell Helicopter operators have more maintenance options with Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Cadorath Aerospace. The company has developed 123 new Bell engineering repairs in the past year and has more than 600 approved repairs for the Bell line overall.
“We have expanded the Bell 206B, 206L, 407, 204, 205, 212 and 412 rework lines,” said Gerry Cadorath, the company’s president and CEO. “We have targeted 180 more for 2012.”
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison told AIN that his company is seeking airframe partners on its new 525 Relentless super-medium twin, which was announced last month at Heli-Expo in Dallas. “We’re looking at that. On the airframe side there are some potential partners that we are in detailed discussions with, but it is too early to announce anything yet,” he said.