Trademark Filings Hint At New Bell Helicopters
Several filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Bell Helicopter Textron in late December provide strong hints of new product announcements likely to come next month at Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo convention in Dallas. According to the filings, Bell is requesting trademarks for “525SMT,” “Magellan” and “407GT.”
Magellan could be a new brand created by the company for a future family of helicopters. Last month, Bell vice president Robert Hastings told AIN that Magellan was not a new helicopter model per se.
The 525SMT is now believed to be a larger helicopter than the company’s current medium-twin 412 and could be a “Super Medium Transport” that would go head-to-head with the AgustaWestland AW189. It likely would compete in the emerging niche between the Eurocopter EC175 and the Sikorsky S-92A, and be primarily aimed at the offshore oil and gas market.
The 407GT could be an enhanced performance version of Bell’s big single, possibly with a new engine. Bell had fielded a 407 modified with a 970-shp Honeywell HTS900-2 turboshaft for the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program, which was cancelled by the Army in 2008.