Scott’s – Bell 47, Inc. (SB47) became the talk of Heli Expo 2013 today with their announcement that they will return the Model 47 to production as a new turbine powered helicopter with the Rolls Royce RR300 engine. The model will be named the 47GT-6. This historic announcement was made today at 12:30PM on day 1 of the Heli Expo 2013 show in Las Vegas, NV.
Don Maguire, SB47 Director of Customer Support & Services, and a former Bell 47 mechanic & pilot himself, made the announcement from their Heli Expo booth #N4712. He stated that the 47GT-6 will be based upon the 47G-3B-2A type design, modified by STC to incorporate the RR300 engine. The STC will also include a new, modern Instrument Panel similar to that currently being developed by SB47 for use on the piston driven fleet of Bell 47 helicopters still in service. Use of the 47G-3B-2A platform takes advantage of the 3,200 lb MGW with external load that model was originally certificated for. The helicopter will also incorporate other improvements including Composite Main Rotor Blades, LED Exterior Lighting and new Interiors, plus SB47 hopes to drive down operating cost to market leading numbers through the use of modern drive train technologies. Mr Maguire said they expect to start deliveries in 2016 and will be taking orders for 2016, 2017 & 2018 at the Heli Expo show. He also confirmed that the 2013 list price is $750,000 and that all orders received by the end of this month will take advantage of a zero price escalation between now & 2016. At the end of this launch customer program, the list price is expected to be announced at around $820,000 in 2016$.
Hundreds of Bell 47 manufactured some 40 or 50 years ago are reported to be still flying many hours per year, mainly in the Agricultural and Training markets, as well as for personal use. SB47 said they expect customers of the new 47GT-6 to enjoy the same durability and longevity that those original helicopters exhibited, but with the advantage of modern equipment, improved performance, and reduced operating costs.
Scott Churchill, President & Owner of Scott’s Bell 47, stated that the 47GT-6 helicopter will be manufactured at a recently acquired 200,000 sq ft facility in Le Sueur, MN, close to Scott’s Helicopter Services and the current SB47 headquarters. He went on to say that the Bell 47 had been the best light utility helicopter for the last 50 years and that he expects with the use of the RR300 turbine engine, new composite main rotor blades, and other modern improvements, the SB47 manufactured 47GT-6 will become the best light utility helicopter of the 21st century.
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