Bell racks up South Pacific helo sales

 - July 14, 2008, 7:22 AM

Bell Helicopter here on Monday announced an order for 14 helicopters–12 Bell 407s and two Bell 206B3s–from Australia-based sales representative Hawker Pacific. “Strong growth in the Oceania market ranges from aviation logistics support in Papua New Guinea, aerial support of mining in New Caledonia and corporate/private operators in Australia/New Zealand,” Hawker Pacific CEO Alan Smith explained.

Meanwhile, Bell has sold several copies of Skybooks, its electronic maintenance and logbook tool. Recent customers include Gulf Coast Aviation and RVR Air Charter in Texas; Helicopter Express in Atlanta, Georgia; and the Sheriff’s office in Jacksonville, Florida. Another sales success involves the in-development Bell 429 light twin, which has passed the 300-order mark.

Commenting on the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program, which is based on the Bell 407, Bell executives acknowledged the U.S. Army has issued a program deviation report about costs, but insisted it does not want to terminate the program. Three test aircraft have accrued 1,300 flight hours.