Bell Helicopter has put a price on playing catch-up: $1 billion. That’s how much the Textron company plans to spend on accelerated research and development, new and renovated facilities, taxable inventory and operations during the next four to five years. It’s all in an effort to recapture some of the market share Bell has lost to Eurocopter and AgustaWestland over the last three decades.
Bell Helicopter is launching a $1 billion facilities and product modernization program. The $240 million project will create a new office building and training academy in Fort Worth. As part of the plan Bell will relocate workers currently at its Alliance Airport and other area sites. Bell is seeking substantial local tax abatement to help finance the upgrades.
The Bell 407GX earned EASA certification yesterday, following similar approvals by Transport Canada and the FAA earlier this year.
Bell Helicopter Textron has high hopes that three aircraft making their Dubai Air Show debuts–the Bell 407AH and 429, and Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor–will soon find permanent homes in the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) is convinced that its decision to expand globally, driven partly by local competition in the offshore oil and gas industry, is proving correct. The company now has contracts in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Spain, Pakistan, Eritrea, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Australia, India, Afghanistan and Indonesia, and more in the pipeline.
Cessna Aircraft and Bell Helicopter parent company Textron reported third-quarter revenues of $2.8 billion yesterday, up 13.5 percent from last year, and profits of $236 million (up $124 million). At Cessna, third-quarter revenues climbed by $236 million to $771 million, while profits increased by $64 million, going from a $31 million loss last year to a positive $33 million this year.
Bell Helicopter announced yesterday at the NBAA Convention that it received FAA certification for its new $2.865 million, single-engine 407GX, which is equipped with
A Bell Helicopter spokesman denies that the company did anything improper in accepting approximately $300 million in U.S. Defense Department independent research and development (IRAD) funds to develop the Model 609 civil tiltrotor program. Bell announced in June that it is in the process of selling the 609 outright to co-development partner AgustaWestland.
AgustaWestland’s new CEO, Bruno Spagnolini, ensured that his company made a big splash at this year’s Paris Air Show, announcing a new helicopter, new joint ventures, plans to increase product support and service and takeover of the languishing civil tiltrotor program from development partner Bell Helicopter.
A Bell Helicopter spokesman denies that the company did anything improper in accepting approximately $300 million in U.S. Defense Department independent research and development (IRAD) funds to develop the Model 609 civil tiltrotor program. Bell announced last month that it is in the process of selling the 609 outright to co-development partner AgustaWestland.