Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced it secured customer commitments to purchase 196 new Bell helicopters at last week’s Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, CA. The customer signings followed the company’s product unveiling in front of a packed booth full of enthusiastic onlookers (see the video here.) Bell Helicopter for the first time revealed its highly anticipated new Bell 505 Jet Ranger X™ as well as an updated full-size mock up of the Bell 525 Relentless™ in a search-and-rescue configuration.
“The energy surrounding the return of the Jet Ranger is hard to describe,” said John Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “Customers have been clamoring to get a first look at our new Bell 505 and it was thrilling to reveal not one but three mock ups of this beautiful new rotorcraft to a chorus of cheers and applause. I am pleased to report the excitement did not stop there – customers from around the world were eager to sign commitments to purchase more than 170 of the aircraft.”
According to Garrison, customers also lined up to see the new full-size mock up of the Bell 525 Relentless in a search-and-rescue configuration.
“Our customers have told us the versatility of the Bell 525 will make it ideal for search-and-rescue operations,” he said. “It was gratifying to be able to show customers how well the Bell 525 accommodates that configuration – and how much flexibility it provides to support a range of other important types of missions.”
In addition to unveiling the Bell 505 and Bell 525 mock ups, Bell Helicopter also introduced www.bell505.com, which includes a proprietary online configuration tool that allows customers to select features and customize their aircraft via the Internet directly from the comfort of their home or office. The booth also featured the Bell 407GX, and Bell 429WLG, which continue to generate customer demand worldwide, as evidenced by the 10 combined orders at the show for both aircraft.
The full recap signings Bell Helicopter inked at this year’s Heli-Expo show includes:
- 171 letters of intent for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X
- 10 letters of intent for the Bell 525 Relentless
- 8 orders for the Bell 407GX
- 5 orders for the Bell 412EP
- 2 orders for the Bell 429
Also during the show, visitors to Bell Helicopter’s booth were invited to special “Mission Theater” presentations where they heard from the leaders of the Bell 505 and Bell 525 programs, Customer Service and Support team leadership and mission segment experts. Additionally, more than 160 potential customers, important guests and members of the news media took advantage of demo flights in the Bell 407GX and Bell 429. Finally, Bell Helicopter also announced support for the Medevac Foundation International’s HEMS 101 Project as well as the establishment of Bell Helicopter Co., Ltd. in Japan to better serve customers in the region.
“While our focus remains increasing customer access to our services and products, we also are committed to helping the entire rotorcraft industry advance and provide the safest, most reliable solutions possible,” said Garrison. “Our goal is to provide our customers the same level of support and service regardless of where they are in the world, and these investments will help us build up our capabilities to help current and future customers understand issues like safety, maintenance and infrastructure.”
Summarizing Bell Helicopter’s participation in this year’s Heli-Explo show, Garrison said, “We continue to put our customers first in everything we do and we are pleased to see continued returns on this investment.”
HELI-EXPO 2014, held in the Anaheim Convention Center, hosted 20,000 industry professionals, more than 700 competitive exhibitors, over 60 helicopters on display and more than 50 educational opportunities, including education courses, seminars, workshops and forums.
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