By Helicopters Staff
Bell Textron Inc. signed a purchase agreement to deliver 12 Bell 407GXi aircraft to Life Flight Network. Full aircraft delivery, integrated with IFR capabilities, is expected to be complete by 2023.
Headquartered in Aurora, Oregon, with additional bases in Washington, Idaho, and Montana, Life Flight Network’s current Bell fleet consist of four Bell 429 and five Bell 407GXi helicopters to provide critical care transportation.
“In 2019, we announced the certification of one of the industry’s first single-engine IFR aircraft, allowing our customers to operate in Instrument Meteorological Conditions,” said Michael Thacker, executive vice president, Innovation and Commercial Business, Bell. “We are incredibly proud to strengthen our relationship with Life Flight Network and continue to support these life-saving missions when minutes matter.”
Life Flight Network is described as the United States’ largest not-for-profit air medical transport service with 25 rotor-wing bases, nine fixed-wing bases, and two neonatal and pediatrics bases throughout the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West.
“The Bell 407GXi is a highly reliable and proven helicopter with an advanced avionics suite. Adding the IFR configuration will allow us to answer calls when we normally may be grounded because of inclement weather,” said Ben Clayton, Interim CEO and COO, Life Flight Network.
For nearly 44 years, Life Flight Network has provided ICU-level care to patients in need of emergency medical transport, and has supported hospitals, local police, EMS, fire departments, and emergency responders to help ensure patients receive the highest quality care.
More than 1,600 Bell 407s have been delivered globally, logging six million flight hours across the fleet. The recently introduced 407GXi model includes a Garmin G1000 NXi Flight Deck that enhances situational awareness for critical HEMS missions.