What Worked for Beer May Work for Bell

 - May 7, 2008, 5:22 AM

Beset with stagnant civil sales, a stymied multi-billion-dollar, investment-intensive defense project and a dearth of new programs in the pipeline, Bell Helicopter Textron has decided, like the beer world, to take a chance on a “lite” product, in this case a new lightweight, lower-cost turbine single helicopter. The new model, derived from the conceptual JRX revealed at last February’s HAI show, is said to be under preparation for presentation to the rotorhead public at Heli-Expo 2003, to be held next February in Dallas. The new entry-level rotorcraft has evidently been greenlighted by Textron’s aviation division overseer (and Cessna chief) Russ Meyer, himself an aviation marketeer with a fondness for product lines built on economically priced entry-level aircraft. Look for the particulars to be strategically leaked between now and the Heli-Expo show.