Bell Helicopter is developing a new “short, light single” (SLS) that will be powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2R turboshaft engine, John Garrison, president and CEO, announced yesterday morning at the Paris Air Show. The “clean sheet” aircraft, which Garrison expects will fly next year, will be the first Bell helicopter to be powered by a Turbomeca engine. Certification of the new helicopter will take place “as quickly as possible” after the first flight.
Performance goals for the SLS helicopter include a speed of 125 knots, 360- to 420-nm range, useful load of 1,500 pounds and 11,000-foot ceiling, said Garrison. He explained that the model’s expected performance is targeted to satisfy requirements that Bell has derived from input generated by the company’s customer advisory council. The name of the new Bell model will be announced at Heli-Expo next year.
The new Bell SLS will feature a glass cockpit (provider not yet decided), dual-channel Fadec, rear clamshell doors, high-inertia main rotor and capability for wire-strike kit installation.