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.
FOCUS on…TRAINING With safety the key focus of rotor operations, Heli-Expo is showcasing a wide range of training products and programs, and training providers have announced major news here in Dallas.
John Garrison, CEO of Bell Helicopter (Booth No. 9846), said on Sunday he believed that 2011 was the market bottom for the civil helicopter sector and that Bell’s newly-announced 525 super-medium twin program would proceed regardless of whether the Pentagon ordered more V-22 Bell/Boeing tiltrotors after 2014.
Twenty-five consecutive years is a long time to be in the aviation parts and servicing business, if your principal customers operate helicopters. The first practical helicopters have been around for less than 60 years. But it takes more than just endurance to become a Gold Seal Bell Helicopter customer service facility.
Just what is behind the curtain? Nearly a decade of speculation surrounding trademark and patent filings, leaked inter-company memos, and rumors concerning a major new model may be coming to an end for Bell Helicopter. The company is set to make a big announcement at its booth (No. 9846) at 11:30 this morning here at Heli-Expo.
Airwolf Aerospace of Middlefield, Ohio (Booth No.10243) announced it has received FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval for its recently PMA-approved Torsion-Tension-(TT) Straps for Bell 206 JetRanger, 206L LongRanger and OH 58 helicopters, as well as STCs from the European Aviation Safety Association (EASA), Brazil’s Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil (ANAC) and Transport Canada.
These STCs will allow installation of the straps in regions of the world that do not otherwise permit use of PMA parts for flight critical components.
Just down the road from the Dallas Convention Center is the Arlington home of the long-awaited AW609 tiltrotor program. Following AgustaWestland’s move late last year to complete the full takeover of the program from former partner Bell Helicopters, the tiltrotor is a full-blown Italian now. While work on the program will continue in the Lone Star state, all roads lead not so much to Rome, as to Agusta’s headquarters at Cascina Costa, just north of Milan.