Bell's ARH Begins Preparations for Flight

May 16, 2006

Additional Milestones Reached in Aggressive Development Program

ILA 2006, Berlin, Germany - May, 16 2006 – The new Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) being developed by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), for the U. S. Army achieved two more milestones on its journey to first flight and deployment. This week the first System Design Demonstration (SDD) aircraft moved from the factory floor to a flight hangar to begin functional checks. The second milestone occurred on May 8th when SDD-B successfully accomplished its initial engine run.

Bill Leonard, ARH Program Director stated, "Both of these events are major milestones as we continue to progress towards first flight. The Honeywell HST900 turbine engine run on SDD-B is another significant risk reduction data point." Leonard also noted that the HST900 started up on its first attempt, which is a rarity in a flight test program.

Ground testing of the ARH systems is scheduled to continue as all systems and their integration are deemed flight worthy. First flight is scheduled for later this summer.

Bell was awarded a contract to build 368 ARH's less than a year ago. The new helicopter is scheduled to replace the venerable OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and Bell is constructing a new facility at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth to support this program.

Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

Textron Inc. is a $10 billion multi-industry company operating in 33 countries with approximately 37,000 employees in continuing operations. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee, among others. More information is available at

Connect with Textron IR

Eric Salander, Vice President, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288
Cameron Vollmuth, Manager,
Investor Relations (401) 457-2288

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