Scott’s-Bell 47 announced yesterday at Heli-Expo that it will build new Bell 47 helicopters, dubbed the 47-GT6, powered by the Rolls-Royce RR300 engine. The $820,000 iconic bubble-canopied helicopter will be built from scratch, not remanufactured, and will be based on the 47G-3B-2A type design that has a 3,200-pound max gross weight with external load. Internal useful load will be 1,400 pounds, and external load 1,650 pounds.
The 47GT-6 will also have a modern instrument panel, upgraded interior, composite main rotor blades, LED exterior lighting and modern drive train technologies. “Right now we’re looking at a 30-month program, with flight testing starting within one year,” said company owner and president Scott Churchill.
New helicopters will be built at a recently acquired 200,000-sq-ft facility in Le Sueur, Minn. Initial production rate will be two per month, expanding to about one per week in three years, Churchill said. Deliveries are expected to start in 2016. The company is targeting the light utility and training markets for sales.
The helicopter’s RR300 engine can produce 300 shp for five minutes and deliver 240 maximum continuous shp. The engine will also be available for retrofit in legacy Bell 47s.