The Bell Helicopter 417 Continues Rapid Development Pace

May 16, 2006

Initial Ground Runs Very Successful

ILA 2006, Berlin, Germany - May, 16 2006 - The first new 417 prototype being offered by Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), continues its rapid development pace and on Monday, May 8th conducted initial ground run tests at Bell's XworX facility in Arlington, TX.

John Ricciardelli, Bell's Executive Director of the 417 program stated, "With the successful first engine runs of the HTS900 Honeywell engine the 417 remains on track to meet all of our predetermined test dates and has met or exceeded our performance expectations."

Two engine starts were conducted for a total test time of 17-minutes with rotor speeds up to 80%. Following initial ground runs, the Bell 417 prototype will continue with the flight test instrumentation buildup, control proof loads testing, and fuel calibration in preparation for first flight. First flight of the Bell 417 prototype is expected to occur within the month.

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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