21-Oct-2013 Source: HeliHub.com
Bell are this week setting an industry milestone – well, as far as the HeliHub.com team can remember – with the launch of a new helicopter model at the NBAA National Business Aircraft Association Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas. The new wheeled landing gear variant of the 429, with the not-so-catchy name of 429WLG, will appear for the first time in public at the event.
Coming only four weeks after Helitech, we thought that the London helicopter-specific event would be the place to launch a new Helicopter model, particularly given that there are usually only a handful of helicopters at NBAA, an event swamped with business jets and turboprops. Communications Manager Brian Bianco confirmed to HeliHub.com that Bell’s “focus was more on UK customers as we featured the National Grid aircraft for the first time. The WLG is targeted at corporate/vip missions along with medical, so we thought it was a better fit for the show. We have also typically displayed an aircraft at NBAA in the past, so this was the static that made the most sense.”
Readers will recall that the organisers of Helitech renamed the event as Helitech International and relocated to London on the basis of what the manufacturers were apparently asking them for, a B2B event which toured various European locations. But now Bell turns round and says they regarded it as a UK (and not European) exhibition. Is that NBAA being really canny at courting rotary-wing support, or is Bell snubbing Helitech?
Ben Haverdee – HeliHub.com