NYPD Buys Bell…Again

 - October 9, 2007, 4:11 AM

Displaying the sort of brand loyalty most manufacturers only wish for, the New York City Police Department aviation unit has taken delivery of yet another Bell helicopter, a brand-new 412EP. This addition brings the NYPD’s fleet total to six helicopters, all of them Bell products. (In fact, the aviation unit, which began operating helicopters in 1948, is one of the oldest helicopter law-enforcement agencies in America and has operated only Bell rotorcraft.) The new 412EP has been outfitted for a broad range of law-enforcement/surveillance and parapublic search-and-rescue missions. Before being accepted by the police, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg took the 412 for a test flight. (Billionaire Bloomberg owns, operates and often flies an Agusta A109, a Falcon 50 and Falcon 900B, flying them on a combination of city and personal business.) As for the specifics of just what sort of crimefighting equipment is on board the new NYPD 412EP, that’s being kept confidential under the general heading of “homeland defense.” A later 412EP, also on order from Bell and federally financed for the most part, will provide “New York’s flying finest” with a purpose-built anti-terrorism helicopter.