22-Oct-2015 Source: HeliHub.com
HeliHub.com continues to build on its reputation of unearthing key facts about the helicopter industry by monitoring production data very closely. Our team crank the numbers on the world’s helicopters on an ongoing basis.
52400 to 52478 – 79 aircraft – have been delivered in the last six years. The first of these – serial 52400, was transferred from Bell Canada to Bell US for final completion in October 2009.
Of these 79, exactly 50 have been sold to Air Evac Lifeteam (AEL), part of Air Medical Group Holdings. Yes, 50 out of 79, so 63.3% of the production sold to one customer, and the story continues with Bell announcing this week at the AMTC 2015 conference in Long Beach that they have ordered a further 8. The press release from Bell noted that AEL already has a fleet of 130 LongRangers, although we do not expect this total to markedly rise as the new deliveries will mostly replace older aircraft across the company’s 120+ air medical bases across 15 states.
However, you could also view this data in another way. Without AEL, only 29 LongRangers would have been produced over the last six years, and that is unlikely enough to make the production line viable to keep open. AEL are already taking Bell 407s and but have only seven in their fleet. An eighth was transferred to sister company Med-Trans in June 2014.
Is anyone betting on Bell announcing a longer cabin “Bell 505L LongRanger X” at Heli-Expo in 2016, to replace the 206L4?
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com