Bell makes splash at Dubai Airshow
Nov. 15, 2011, Dubai, U.A.E. - Bell Helicopter will showcase the Bell 429, Bell 407AH as well as the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor during the 2011 Dubai Airshow. This marks the first time the V-22 and Bell 407AH will be on public display in the Middle East.
By Carey Fredericks
“Bell Helicopter will have three of its game-changing products at the 2011 Dubai Airshow,” said John Garrison, President and CEO for Bell Helicopter.”Bell Helicopter is committed to changing the way the world flies and these aircraft are proof of that promise.”
The Bell 429 and Bell 407AH will be on display outside the Bell Helicopter Chalet (A73) and the V-22 Osprey will be on display as part of the U.S. Department of Defense corral.
Entering service in April 2010 , the Bell 429 continues to gain market momentum with orders placed in more than 20 countries around the globe. It is currently operating in all of the major industry segments, including the helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), parapublic (law enforcement), oil & gas and corporate/VIP.
The Bell 429 is the world’s newest light twin helicopter. It features a state-of-the-art glass flight deck that enhances crew situational awareness. With the largest cabin in its class, customers are also pleased with its smooth and quiet ride.
Introduced earlier this year, the Bell 407AH is a Bell-qualified armed commercial aircraft designed to support a wide range of law enforcement and paramilitary missions worldwide. The Bell 407AH comes equipped with a baseline law enforcement package that can be customized with multiple weapon configurations – making it approximately half the cost of a traditional militarized combat aircraft when fully equipped.
The V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor aircraft that can take-off and land like a helicopter and fly like an airplane, will also make demonstration flights to showcase its capabilities.
“We believe the V-22 is the right solution for Middle East customers who are seeking range, speed, payload and mission flexibility for military and humanitarian operations,” Garrison said. “The V-22 has proven itself in combat conditions flying more than 125,000 hours. And according to the U.S. Navy Safety Center, the Osprey is also the safest rotorcraft in the Marine Corp fleet.”
he V-22 Osprey is a joint service, multirole combat aircraft that uses tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its nacelles and rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, its nacelles can be rotated to transition the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.
The Osprey is currently flown by the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and the operational fleet has amassed more than 130,000 flight hours, nearly half of which have come in the past two years. A total of 10 Marine Corps and two AFSOC squadrons are operational today , and the two services have together logged 16 successful combat, humanitarian, ship-based or Special Operations deployments since 2007.
“The V-22 is proven and forward-deployed, supporting combat operations and responding to contingency operations around the world,” said Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello, head of the V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275) at the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). “The Osprey brings unprecedented range, speed and survivability to the warfighter and will continue to excel in combat and remain ready, effective and survivable.”
According to Naval Safety Center records, the MV-22 has had the lowest Class A mishap rate of any rotorcraft in the Marine Corps during the past decade. The aircraft’s reduced susceptibility, lower vulnerability and advanced crashworthiness have made it the most survivable military rotorcraft ever introduced.
“At 130,000 flight hours, safety, survivability and operational efficiency have become standards of the operational fleet,” said Willie Andersen, deputy program director for the Bell Boeing V-22 Program.
In early November, the Naval Air Systems Command Joint V-22 program office was awarded a U.S. Department of Defense Packard Award for efforts in reducing cost-per-flight-hour. Fiscal Year 2010 Navy flight-hour cost data also show that the Osprey has the lowest cost-per-seat-mile (cost to transport one person over a distance of one mile) of any U.S. Navy transport rotorcraft.
More than 150 Osprey tiltrotors are currently in operation. Marine Corps MV-22s are currently deployed in Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit supporting contingency operations, while AFSOC CV-22s are deployed in support of ongoing Special Operations missions.