A Leading Candidate for Army's LUH Competition Gets
The Bell 210 medium transport
helicopter received its FAA Certification today following a
development program that stretched from Texas to Tennessee. Dave
Downey, FAA Rotorcraft Directorate Manager presented the aircraft's
Type Certificate to Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh in ceremonies at
company headquarters in Fort Worth.
The Bell 210, which made its first flight Dec. 18, 2004, at Bell
affiliate company Edwards & Associates, Bristol, Tenn., was
also flight tested at company facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth
Metroplex. First customer deliveries will begin in November
"I want to congratulate the employees at Bell Helicopter, both
here in Fort Worth and those at the Edwards & Associates
operation in Tennessee, whose hard work and dedication to the Bell
210 team has led us to this day," Mr. Redenbaugh said.
"I also want to pass on our sincere thanks to the men and women
of the FAA who have worked with our team throughout this
certification program," he added.
"The Bell 210 is the perfect solution for the many agencies that
need a medium utility helicopter such as Homeland Security, law
enforcement or firefighting, " declared Mr. Redenbaugh.
"It combines great performance with an existing logistical and
support base which customers consistently rate Number One in the
industry, unbeatable Direct Operating Costs and a tremendously low
initial acquisition cost. Add to that complete FAA certification
and the Bell 210 is truly the best total value proposition to be
found in the market today," Mr. Redenbaugh explained.
In addition to its appeal for commercial applications, the Bell
210 helicopter also satisfies the US Army's requirement for a Light
Utility Helicopter (LUH). There are many missions now supported by
the Army with assets that are marked for replacement in the LUH
program that the Bell 210 could more economically perform. These
Army Light Utility Helicopters would perform future utility
missions for non-combat organizations (TDA), National Guard
utility, drug interdiction efforts (RAID), MEDEVAC, and Homeland
Defense (HLD) missions.
The Bell 210 helicopter includes dynamic components from the
Bell 212 (main rotor hub and blades, tail rotor, main and tail
rotor support structure, transmission, rotating controls, and tail
boom), and an FAA certified Honeywell T-53-517BCV engine providing
a zero-time FAA certified single engine medium utility
The Bell 210 is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) helicopter
that will operate for less than $650 per hour, thus allowing the
Army to unburden itself of logistics and engineering overhead
management by taking advantage of Bell's global, world-class
commercial support in spares, manuals, and technical support. This
would be similar to the TH-67 program currently in place at Ft.
Rucker, Ala. The Bell 210 comes with an excellent commercial
products warranty and a significant reduction in operating costs.
Cost of the Bell 210 will be approximately $3 million. A comparable
sized off-the-shelf commercial aircraft would cost approximately $5