Bell Helicopter, a division of Textron, recently announced orders for 14 Model 505 JetRanger X light singles in South Africa. Bell’s local sales representative, National Airways, was responsible for the sales, mostly to “private pilots and enthusiasts,” according to the OEM. Nine of the sales were announced at the 8th Africa Aerospace and Defense (AAD) show last month in Tshwane, South Africa.
Bell Helicopter (Booth 212) is continuing its strong focus on the corporate and VIP markets to drive new sales of its civil helicopters. Since 2010, 40 percent of all single-engine Bell 407s and 45 percent of all 407GX models have been configured for corporate customers. Meanwhile, 55 percent of new Bell 429 light twins are being sold into this market. And Bell has begun thinking about the corporate, VVIP and head-of-state market for its new 525 super-medium twin as well.
Bell Helicopter announced the signing of two new purchase agreements on the opening day of the JetExpo 2014 show. Two undisclosed Russian private customers each have signed for a Bell 407GX single-engined aircraft. The new contracts were announced on the same day as Bell delivered three other helicopters to Russian clients.
Bell Helicopter has started building the facility in Lafayette, La., where it will assemble the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X light single. The $26.3 million, 82,300-sq-ft hangar, to be completed by June, is being built on a 14.5-acre site leased from Lafayette Regional Airport.
More than 100 people attended Bell Helicopter’s Latin America regional safety symposium for rotorcraft pilots and technicians, held August 11 at the São Paulo World Trade Center in Brazil. The event, which coincided with the annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, highlighted Bell’s support of the International Helicopter Safety Team’s mission to establish partnerships in countries with significant helicopter operations and encourage development of safety interventions.
Textron Aviation announced that its Cessna Citation M2, which is making its LABACE show debut here this week, has gained certification in Brazil and Argentina, “paving the way for deliveries to begin.” The new M2 jet received its U.S. FAA type certificate in December 2013 and the equivalent approval from Europe’s EASA in June. So far this year, Textron has delivered 31 of the type.
An acquisitive Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE. TRU’s president and CEO is James Takats, one of the founders of Florida-based simulator manufacturer Opinicus, which became a Textron property in November last year.
Second-quarter revenues at Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna and Beechcraft, climbed $623 million year-over-year, to $1.18 billion, reflecting the Beechcraft acquisition in late March and higher jet deliveries. Textron Aviation delivered 70 turbine business aircraft during the quarter–36 Cessna Citations and 34 Beechcraft Kings Airs, up from 20 jets and 14 King Air turboprops in the same period last year.
Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE.
Textron Aviation’s TRU Simulation+Training has announced an agreement with sister company Bell Helicopter to develop the first level-D, full flight simulator for the Bell 525 Relentless medium helicopter.
TRU will take care of all the steps from design to installation at Bell’s Fort Worth, Texas headquarters. The simulator will be FAA- and EASA-certified and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2016.
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