H-1 Program OPEVAL Begins

May 10, 2006

Four Aircraft Fly to China Lake Naval Air Station, California

Fort Worth, TX - May, 10 2006 – Bell Helicopter, a Textron company (NYSE: TXT) announced at 8:00 AM Tuesday, May 9th, four H-1 aircraft, two AH-1Zs and two UH-1Ys, headed west from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland to begin the Program's long awaited Operations Evaluation (OPEVAL) period.

"This is a significant milestone in the H-1 Upgrades program and brings us that much closer to fielding this critical capability to the Fleet Marines who are anxiously awaiting these tremendously capable aircraft," said Col. Keith Birkholz, H-1 program manager at NAVAIR. "This milestone also is a tremendous testimony to the Government-Bell team that has labored so hard for the last few years to achieve it."

"This is a great day for the U.S. Marines and the H-1 Program" Bell Helicopter Chief Executive Officer Michael Redenbaugh. "Over the next six months these aircraft will demonstrate and validate the significant improvements that have been made to make them more valuable to the Marines. These aircraft are among the worlds most technologically advanced and posses capabilities that the Marines need now but also in the future." he continued.

The aircraft will fly to China Lake Naval Air Station in California where they will spend the next six months undergoing numerous tests and evaluations to determine the H-1 aircraft operational suitability. Start of OPEVAL represents the last exit criteria before a Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) is to decide on Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase III.

The H-1 Upgrade Program will replace the current fleet of AH-1W and high time UH-1N aircraft by providing 180 AH-1Z and 100 UH-1Y new, zero-time, aircraft starting in 2006. Key to the program is the fact that the two different models of aircraft have 84% commonality of parts. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is scheduled for 2008.

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

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