Bell Helicopter at Helitech
Bell Helicopter recently attended Helitech 2017 in London and made some announcements during the show.
Swiss operator Air Zermatt selected the Bell 429 for its HEMS operations. The aircraft will be configured to support Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and Search and Rescue (SAR) for day and night missions. This will be the second Bell aircraft operated by Air Zermatt.
Patrick Moulay, Bell’s executive vice president, commercial sales and marketing, said: “Air Zermatt has one of the most iconic Bell helicopters in operation and we are honoured they have selected to add an additional Bell 429. Air Zermatt’s selection is a testament to the Bell 429’s unmatched performance in the most extreme environments.”
Air Zermatt has also selected the Premier Customer Advantage Plan for the new Bell 429. Bell Helicopter will be supporting the training of Air Zermatt pilots at Bell Helicopter’s newly opened Valencia facility using the Bell 429 Full Flight Simulator Level D. The aircraft is scheduled to be delivered next spring to celebrate Air Zermatt’s 50th anniversary.
Bell Helicopter expanded its service facilities in Europe and announced AS Aerospace Ltd as its newest authorised customer service facility.
Glenn Isbell, Bell’s executive vice president, global customer support and services, said: “The Bell 429 has proven to be very popular in Europe and, as we grow our business globally, it’s important we continue to provide operators with the best-in-industry customer support and services for which Bell Helicopter is known. We have more than 100 authorised CSFs in 36 countries around the world and we are pleased to welcome AS Aerospace Ltd to our CSF family.”
On the final day, Moulay gave updates on the other Bell Helicopter models. The Bell 505 JetRanger X is progressing well, with deliveries starting in the US and Canada. He expects certification from EASA for the Bell 505 very soon.
The Bell 525 Relentless is another model under development. Moulay suggested three variants of the VIP aircraft – a 12-seat Corporate Shuttle version, a six-seat version, and even a four-seat version – but said the company was seriously looking at a VIP business helicopter.
The Bell 525 Relentless is a 19-seat helicopter and is primarily designed for oil and gas but, with the static market in the oil and gas industry and the longer-range helicopters on hold because of deep water drilling being also on hold, Bell is looking at other markets for the Relentless.
Moulay also confirmed that production of the Bell 206 Long Ranger IV has been completed but the company has yet to sell the final four helicopters built.