Bell Helicopter is moving rapidly to expand its U.S. and international product support, modifications and sales capabilities. That’s the message from company executives Danny Maldonado, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, and Eric Cardinali, senior vice president of customer support and services.
Bell Helicopter has announced a substantial investment in its support of operations in China. The OEM has signed a memorandum of understanding to assist with the establishment of a maintenance training facility in Guangdong Province. The MOU with Guangzhou Civil Aviation College focuses on training for the Bell 206L and Bell 407 and includes access to training-course materials, electronic training systems and continued support throughout training.
Bell Helicopter announced purchase agreements for 15 new helicopters at the recently concluded Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. The agreements cover two Bell 429s, 11 Bell 407GXs and two Bell 206L4s. Also at the show, Bell announced the signing of a MoU with Guangzhou Civil Aviation College to assist with the establishment of a maintenance training facility for the Bell 206L and Bell 407. In addition, it appointed Shanghai Kingwing General Aviation Co. and H&P General Aviation Service Co. as authorized customer service facilities.
Bell Helicopter has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SAIT Polytechnic to make its classrooms and labs at SAIT’s Art Smith Aero Centre in Calgary, Alberta, available for Bell Helicopter to use in the delivery of approved maintenance, repair training and certification programs.
Bell Helicopter broke ground October 15 on its new Fort Worth, Tex. headquarters building.
Bell’s new, energy-efficient 210,000-sq-ft headquarters will house administration, support functions, program offices, a customer center and an integrated training facility. The Bell Helicopter training facility, currently located at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, will be moved to the new global headquarters.
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison told AIN that his company is seeking airframe partners on its new 525 Relentless super-medium twin, which was announced last month at Heli-Expo in Dallas. “We’re looking at that. On the airframe side there are some potential partners that we are in detailed discussions with, but it is too early to announce anything yet,” he said.
Just what is behind the curtain? Nearly a decade of speculation surrounding trademark and patent filings, leaked inter-company memos, and rumors concerning a major new model may be coming to an end for Bell Helicopter. The company is set to make a big announcement at its booth (No. 9846) at 11:30 this morning here at Heli-Expo.
Cadorath Aerospace’s tally of approved repairs for Bell products has grown to more than 600, with 123 added last year. Cadorath Aerospace (Booth No. 5024), part of Winnipeg-based Cadorath Group, plans to add more Bell-series repairs this year, to complement its existing Bell and Rolls-Royce capabilities. “This fulfills, in part, a promise we made to our customers to continue to expand our product offerings,” said president and CEO Gerry Cadorath.
Bell Helicopter has put a price on playing catch-up: $1 billion. That’s how much the Textron company plans to spend on accelerated research and development, new and renovated facilities, taxable inventory and operations during the next four to five years. It’s all in an effort to recapture some of the market share Bell has lost to Eurocopter and AgustaWestland over the last three decades.
Bell’s Aeronautical Accessories brand will distribute the TrueView Enhanced Visions Systems infrared thermal imaging system worldwide. It is currently certified via supplemental type certificate in the U.S. and Canada for the Bell 206B and 206L. TrueView is developing systems for the Bell 407 and 429.