Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on March 14, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. Scott Ernest, Cessna’s president and CEO since 2011, was tapped to lead Textron Aviation as CEO. Meanwhile, Bill Boisture, chairman and CEO of Beechcraft since 2009, was omitted from the Textron Aviation senior leadership team and “is moving on to new opportunities,” a Textron spokesman told AIN.
Bell Helicopter officially opened its composite manufacturing facility in Broussard, La., yesterday. The new 28,000-sq-ft facility was designed specifically for manufacturing and repairing composites for most of the helicopter manufacturer’s in-production and legacy fleet. Bell said it implemented lean manufacturing processes throughout the facility to improve efficiencies and reduce lead times.
Textron closed its $1.4 billion acquisition of Beechcraft on Friday, bringing together Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft to form Textron Aviation. While the two aircraft manufacturers are now combined within a single segment, “Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker will each remain distinct brands to preserve their rich histories and respective strengths in the marketplace,” the company said.
Bell Helicopter announced that Helisul Air Taxi placed an order for a Bell 429 and signed purchase agreements for three new Bell 505 Jet Ranger Xs last month at Heli-Expo. This was part of the nearly 200 total agreements announced at the end of the show. Based in Foz do Iguaçu, Helisul is the largest air-taxi company in Brazil and one of the largest in the world.
Bell Helicopter secured orders and purchase commitments for 196 new helicopters from customers during Heli-Expo, which was held last week in Anaheim, Calif. This number includes more than 170 letters of intent for Bell’s circa-$1 million light single helicopter, the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X, that was formally unveiled at the show.
Bell Helicopter racked up orders and commitments for more than 110 helicopters at Heli-Expo as of this afternoon. The majority of these are for the company’s new Model 505 Jet Ranger X, which has garnered 94 letters of intent.
Bell Helicopter has chosen Texstars (Booth No. 507) to provide birdstrike-resistant windshields for the Bell 525 Relentless. These windshields will feature other safety improvements including enhanced pilot’s field-of-vision and a wrap-around windshield that eliminates the need for lower-view chin bubble windows and overhead skylights. The improved pilot’s view will enable direct sighting of mission objectives and landing zones.
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison said that the price of the company’s new short light single (SLS) helicopter would be pegged near $1 million. Bell is expected to reveal a mock-up of its re-entry into the light single market at its booth on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Bell Helicopter (Chalet CD11) is exhibiting two of its products at the Singapore 2014 airshow, the Bell 407GX single and the Bell 429 light twin. The show also marks the debut here of the cockpit demonstrator for the Bell AH-1Z Zulu attack helicopter. Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps is displaying the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey in both the static and flying displays.
Bell is looking to ramp up sales of both military and civilian helicopter models here in the Asia Pacific region. For the first time, the U.S. Marine Corps has brought a Bell/Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor to the Singapore show.