Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today it has received five firm orders with two potential follow-on orders for Bell 412s from PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) for delivery to government agencies in Indonesia.
“Bell Helicopter has had a long partnership with PTDI in Indonesia,” said Larry D. Roberts, senior vice president, Bell Helicopter’s Commercial Business.
“The sale of these helicopters is part of the framework of an ongoing industrial collaboration between our two companies,” Roberts said. “We believe our partnership will continue to grow and possibly expand in the future.”
The five Bell 412s are expected to be delivered to PTDI by the end of the year. PTDI will then transport them to Bandung, Indonesia, where local content and customer specific mission equipment will be added prior to PTDI making final delivery to end-users.
In 2010, Bell Helicopter announced plans to extend the capability and performance of the Bell 412EP through a series of upgrades which are expected to be available to customers in 2012.
“The Bell 412 has had tremendous success in the region. It is well-known throughout the world for its reliability and multi-mission capabilities. We are committed to continuing to invest in the Bell 412 and will evolve it based on customer feedback and mission requirements,” Roberts said.
The upgrade program entails a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) project that is intended to extend the wide range of missions that can be performed by the Bell 412EP consisting of an engine and flight deck upgrade, which will be available in 3-axis and 4-axis options.
The engine upgrade, in partnership with Pratt & Whitney Inc., is designed to provide a 15 percent engine SHP increase, improved OEI and hot/high performance and introduction of electronic engine control. The upgrade will yield a 10-12 percent increase in CAT A/PC1 & PC2 performance, increased hot/high capability and provides a path for a future upgrade for increased range and payload.
The flight deck upgrade will provide a modern glass flight deck – leveraging the well-received glass flight deck in the new Bell 429 – by utilizing hardware common to that aircraft, specifically display units. This will provide commonality in the cockpits of Bell Helicopter’s light twin and medium twin aircraft, simplifying pilot familiarity and maintenance training.
The planned engine and flight deck upgrades are in addition to an earlier Bell 412EP STC for the BLR FastFin™ System. The FastFin™ upgrade, certified by Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration and available today, increases HOGE and HIGE performance limits and expands the lifting capacity of the Bell 412EP, providing more tail rotor reserve authority, improving hover stability, high/hot performance, crosswind capabilities, and payload, while reducing pilot workload and lowering operating costs through fuel savings.
Earlier this year, Bell Helicopter broke ground on a new Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park dedicated to customer support and service for the Asia-Pacific region. The new facility, which Bell Helicopter will operate in partnership with Cessna, will replace and augment the existing Bell Helicopter Supply Center and strengthen the company's sales presence in the Asia Pacific region, as well as add parts distribution and maintenance capabilities for Cessna operators in the region.
“Bell Helicopter is focused on continually improving the customer experience and remains committed to transforming the model for commercial aviation aircraft support – finding innovative ways of supporting our customers around the world and leading the way in new and emerging markets,” said R. Danny Maldonado, senior vice president, Bell Helicopter’s Customer Support and Chief Services Officer.
“With more than 6,000 helicopters flying in more than 12 countries, Asia Pacific has the second largest fleet of aircraft in the world. Adding this new service center is one way we are demonstrating that commitment to our customers throughout the Asia Pacific region,” Maldonado said.
The Bell 412 is backed by Bell Helicopter’s industry-leading customer support and service that has earned it – voted by our customers – the #1 ranking in Professional Pilot magazine for 17 consecutive years as well as #1 in Aviation International News for a sixth consecutive time.
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