PPG (NYSE:PPG) today announced that it has been awarded the contract by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company and major global helicopter manufacturer, to produce heated pilot and co-pilot windshields for the Bell 525 Relentless commercial helicopter. The PPG windshields will be available for customer specification on helicopters operating in mountainous areas and cold environments and for off-shore rescues.
“PPG’s ability to produce heated windshields with superior optics was key to the company being awarded the contract,” said Howie Mosier, Bell Helicopter design principal.
“We demonstrated the optical clarity of our windshield design for the 525 helicopter by showing Bell an example of a windshield with the PPG AIRCON® heating system and a cross-section sample,” said Steve Neyman, PPG segment manager, general aviation transparencies. “Additionally, we have the transparency-forming expertise to produce the windshields’ deep, complex and compound vertical bend.”
Bell has completed critical design review and approved PPG’s design for the composite windshields, which will have an outboard ply of stretched acrylic with a scratch-resistant coating and an inboard polycarbonate ply for enhanced strength. The windshields will meet Bell’s bird-strike requirement, which is to withstand the impact of a 2.2-pound bird at 185 knots.
The pilot and co-pilot windshields, which will have the same design, will measure approximately 50 inches by 60 inches. The front-facing area will be contoured to wrap to the side at around 100 degrees, affording exceptional viewing by both pilot and co-pilot.
PPG will fabricate the windshields at its Sylmar, California, plant with the PPG Aircon heating system supplied by its Huntsville, Alabama, facility.
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