Bell Helicopter Textron announced the recent deliveries of three helicopters–a Bell 412, 206B-3 and 430–to customers in vastly different industries and took orders for two 407s in September. The Fort Worth, Texas-based manufacturer also inked a deal at the NBAA Convention in Orlando, Fla., last month on the sale of an AB139, jointly developed with AgustaWestland. According to Bell senior vice president Rick Rosenjack, Bell anticipates an increase of 30 percent in total deliveries over 2002 by year-end.
“Considering that we have introduced no new products or upgrades in the past year, the increase is due solely to new customers finding our products,” said Rosenjack. “Approximately 23 percent of our 2003 deliveries are to new customers.”
One new Bell customer is EMS operator Life Flight Eagle, which ordered two Bell 407s in September to replace its Eurocopter BK 117. The decision to switch to the 407 was based on a need for improved technology and lower cost. “What stands out the most with Bell is its commitment to its products and customer support,” said Christine Zalar, president and CEO at Life Flight Eagle.
Rosenjack said Bell has seen a 35-percent increase in 407 orders this year over last, bringing the estimated deliveries to the “mid to high 40s” by year-end. Bell will also deliver more than 30 Model 412s by the end of the year, the first time that 412 deliveries have reached that number since 1998.
“We haven’t been at NBAA since 2000,” said Rosenjack. “We went this year because we want people to know that Bell is back and will be in the corporate helicopter business for a very long time.”