Evolution of the Bell LUH

April 10, 2006

Fort Worth, TX – April 10, 2006 – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. Company (NYSE: TXT) announced completion this week of their 747th Bell 412, making it one of the most popular medium twin helicopters flying in the world.

But according to Bell Helicopter Customer Engineer Daniel Currie, the number could also be 750 completed Bell 412s. "It depends on what you actually call a Bell 412," Currie joked.

Currie has worked for Bell Helicopter for nearly four decades and was a flight line electrician on the Bell 212s that were modified to serve as the new Bell 412 prototypes.

"We took three Bell 212s, added a 4-bladed rotor system, a new transmission and several more upgrades to build the first Bell 412s. Each prototype went through a different test regimes testing everything from handling qualities, possible blade deicing kit test, cowlings, autopilot and more."

Currie describes these prototypes as the great-grandfather's of today's modern Bell 412 which is currently in contention for the Army's new Light Utility Helicopter Contract.

"All the Bell 412's, whether one of the first that rolled off the assembly line in Fort Worth or one of today's modern Bell 412 LUHs, they all share the same core qualities. They are proven, consistent, forgiving, and easy to fly...that's why people continue to buy them."

With Bell's worldwide fleet of 412s, the airframe has logged more than three million hours, successfully performing LUH missions including search and rescue, firefighting, EMS and passenger transport in often very austere conditions.

And Currie was there from the beginning witnessing the evolution of the Bell LUH.

"I am amazed at what can happen when you combine modern technology with a robust, proven airframe...you get a helicopter with unmatched reliability which is exactly what the Bell LUH offers."

The Bell LUH is equipped with the modern Health and Usage Monitoring System, or HUMS, a modern avionics and communications suite and life saving crash worthy crew and passenger seats.

" It may not be the flashiest, but when you go out in the morning and push the starter switch, its ready to go to work," Currie said. "Operations around the world depend on Bell."

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 www.textron.com.

Connect with Textron IR

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

Email Alert

Enter your Email *
Mailing Lists *

Enter the code shown above.