1-Mar-2013 Source: Bell
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), will showcase a number of aircraft and program updates at HELI-EXPO 2013, the world’s largest helicopter trade show and exposition, hosted by Helicopter Association International (HAI) in Las Vegas March 5-7.
Bell Helicopter invites show attendees to its opening event on March 5, at 11:30 a.m., where it will introduce new product upgrades designed using continued customer input and engagement. Bell Helicopter will host Mission Theater – a series of thought-leadership presentations. Each thirty-minute briefing will highlight how Bell Helicopter continues to lead the industry in adding value for customers and industry partners alike. In addition, the company will provide a program update on the world’s first “super-medium” helicopter, the Bell 525 Relentless, featuring an exclusive look at the new Bell 525 simulator. Bell Helicopter will also conduct demonstration flights of the Bell 429 and Bell 407GX daily.
“HELI-EXPO is unquestionably one of our most important events each year,” said John Garrison, Bell Helicopter’s president and CEO. “As the largest helicopter show in the world, it gathers together many of our most important customers, prospects and suppliers. That makes it an ideal environment for Bell Helicopter to interact with our customers, hear more about what is important to them, and discuss how we can best address their needs.”
According to Garrison, keeping the customer at the center of everything Bell Helicopter does enables the company to fulfill its mission to deliver the products and support customer needs today and well into the future. It is because of this customer focus Bell Helicopter achieved record results in 2012, including an impressive 50 percent increase in commercial deliveries.
The company anticipates continuing growth in commercial deliveries this year. “We expect 2013 to be another big year as we build on the momentum we established in 2012 – which was a record year for both our military and commercial programs,” added Garrison.
Growth momentum in the future is expected to come from a balanced military and commercial portfolio, with an emphasis on expanding Bell Helicopter’s commercial product line. The company has invested significant resources in creating differentiated products for its commercial business. The most recent focus of this investment is the development of the industry-acclaimed Bell 525 Relentless, introduced at HELI-EXPO 2012 and expected to achieve first flight in 2014.
“Developments like the 525 Relentless would not be possible without the valuable input and involvement of our customers,” said Garrison. “As part of our product development strategy that puts customers at the center of everything we do, we have assembled a customer advisory panel that is involved in every step of the design process. This helps us ensure we provide our customers with the right products at the right time.”
In addition to focusing on the customer throughout the product development process, Bell Helicopter remains committed to providing world-class support and service. In fact, the company has been expanding its international capabilities to be closer to its global customers, most recently opening a new service facility in Singapore and appointing two new Customer Service Facilities in China. The company’s focus on its customers has been a key differentiator for the company, as evidenced by Bell Helicopter’s consistent number one ranking in customer service for close to two decades.
To accommodate the advancement of its commercial and military programs, Bell Helicopter recently broke ground on new and upgraded headquarters facilities in Fort Worth, Texas. The company is investing in the facilities as part of a comprehensive revitalization effort designed to improve coordination and collaboration among its 6,000 North Texas-based employees. The move also will consolidate more than 1.2 million square feet of excess space, reduce building maintenance costs and increase the company’s cost-competitiveness.
HELI-EXPO 2013, held in the Las Vegas Convention Center, will host 20,000 industry professionals, more than 650 competitive exhibitors, over 60 helicopters on display and more than 50 educational opportunities, including education courses, seminars, workshops and forums.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.