Bell Helicopter Announces General Manager for New Lafayette Facility

June 03, 2014

Fort Worth, TX (June 3, 2014) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today Paul Watts has accepted the position of general manager of the new Lafayette aircraft assembly facility. The site, announced in late 2013, will be the home of the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X program. Watts will assume this new role immediately while also maintaining his current position as Bell 505 program manager through the end of the year. As general manager, he will be responsible for day-to-day operations and strategic growth plans in Lafayette. His immediate priorities include building a high performance team as well as leading the creation of the new facility’s business systems, processes, and resource allocation.

“We saw Paul as the logical choice for this role,” said Gunnar Kleveland, senior vice president, Integrated Operations. “He has led the Jet Ranger X team from day one and has been instrumental in not only leading the development of the aircraft, but also building relationships with our current and future customers, the State of Louisiana and the Lafayette community.”

Watts joined Bell Helicopter in 2008 and has since been instrumental in building cross-functional teams and developing new business structures, with experience supporting both military and commercial program teams as well as the global business ventures organization. His leadership has resulted in successfully defining unique global business opportunities and identifying and shaping emerging sales and operations activities throughout the world. As the leader of the Bell 505 program, his work has helped the company move rapidly towards first flight of an aircraft that is not only competitively priced, but offers features and capabilities customers have come to expect from Bell Helicopter. Watts holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Utah State University and a Master’s degree in Business from the University of Texas.  

About the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X

The Bell 505 Jet Ranger X is a customer-driven design, blending proven systems with advanced technology, a digital glass cockpit and a sleek, modern design. It places safety, performance and affordability at its forefront. The Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics Suite provides pilots critical flight information at a glance to maximize situational awareness. Pilot workload is further reduced by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine with dual channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). The Bell 505 features a high inertia rotor system delivering superior auto rotation capabilities. With the ideal combination of speed, range and useful load, it is designed to deliver best-in-class performance.

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About Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor 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.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, 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, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit

Certain statements in this press release may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the efficacy of research and development investments to develop new products or unanticipated expenses in connection with the launching of significant new products or programs; the timing of our new product launches or certifications of our new aircraft products; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; and continued demand softness or volatility in the  markets in which we do business.
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Post Office Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101-0482

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