Bell 407 Demonstrates High Altitude Performance Ability Lands in Himalayan Mountains at 22,180 Feet

July 19, 2004

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW - July 19, 2004 - Adding to its already impressive list of accomplishments on July 1 2004, Bell 407 flown by Bell Senior Experimental Test Pilot, Eric Emblin, and Flight Test Engineer, Ed Lambert, the aircraft landed on Tillcho Peak in the Mustang area of northern Nepal Himalayan mountain range at an altitude of 22,180 feet Hp (24,971 feet Hd). This remarkable flight completed a weeks worth of demonstrations and testing, which included low speed controllability flights, IGE/OGE hover checks, and general performance evaluations at altitudes in excess of 18,500 feet.

Bell 407The Bell trial team based its operation out of the Jomsom airport (elevation 8,800 feet) and performed most of their test sorties in and around Mustang District area. This testing was conducted to verify performance capability outside the current published 407 flight envelope and was necessary to pursue key international military programs.

With over 600 Bell 407's operating in more than 50 countries, these trials represented the first appearance of the 407 in Nepal. While the 407 has already developed a solid reputation as an excellent high altitude performer, flying in the Himalayas offered an opportunity to take the 407 to an unparalleled level.

Bell's six-member flight test team was lead by Steven Woolston, Director of Asia Pacific Programs, and Dale Cato, Program Manager for Light Helicopters. Mr. Emblin, who conducted all of the high altitude flights, stated "We pushed the helicopter to the edge of its operational capabilities and it delivered as predicted. The 407 demonstrated plenty of margin everywhere." Additional team members included Steve Bornais, Experimental Flight Mechanic and Chris Ankrom, Rolls Royce Director of Technical Support. As a further endorsement to the 407's durability, the only maintenance performed during the test program was daily preflight inspections and topping off fuel based on mission requirements.

Speaking on behalf of the entire Bell team, Mr. Woolston stated, "This was an incredible experience and we are extremely excited about this accomplishment. This is just a further testament to the excellent high and hot performance of the 407, and the ability of Bell products to operate in remote and extreme environments."

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