While the industry experiences a downturn, sales and revenue are up 25 percent at East/West Industries.
The rapidly growing supplier of lifesaving equipment for rotorcraft in late February moved into a spacious new facility where it is producing seats for the next-generation Bell 505 Jet Ranger X and other innovative rotorcraft programs. More than 250 Bell 505 VIP and utility seats have already been delivered, and the first production aircraft is flying with East/West seats installed, according to Joe Spinosa, Vice President, Business Development.
The company increased office and manufacturing areas in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., by 75 percent – from 30,000 square feet to approximately 50,000 square feet — and plans to expand its workforce by 40 percent over the next three years. In addition to a dedicated production line for each individual seat program, the new facility features a 3-D printing lab, high-speed machining and other innovations that will reduce product development and production time.
East/West’s Bell 505 VIP and utility seats and its unique Master Crane®, a portable floor crane, will be on display at the company’s exhibit (10337) at HAI HELI-EXPO 2017 in Dallas. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about the company and its products.
Spinosa credits the company’s success to nearly half-a-century of “innovative design, great value and responsive support,” coupled with the ability to “understand customer needs while delivering high performance and value.
With strong market interest, the Bell 505 (the replacement for the popular Bell 206) is expected to be a significant part of the industry for many years. “We’re proud to play a part in that long-term success with our cabin seats that make flying safer and more comfortable,” he said
East/West’s patented energy-attenuating seats are lightweight and high comfort for long missions. “Today’s modern helicopters are capable of flying missions that can last six-to-eight hours,” he added. “And helicopter flight can be fatiguing. Superior seating is more important than ever for commercial passengers and crews – and even more so for military crews.”
In addition to the Bell 505, East/West seats have been selected for a range of high-profile rotorcraft, including the Sikorsky/Boeing SB>1 Defiant, Sikorsky S-97 Raider™, Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Sikorsky CH-53K, and Sikorsky HH-60W search and rescue aircraft, among others.