Wed, Jan 11, 2012
Decision Reflects Expectations For Winding Down Of V-22
For about the last 20 years, Bell Helicopter has built all its
new commercial helicopters in Canada. But an internal company
e-mail Monday announced a break from that trend, saying that a new
helicopter code-named Magellan will be built in Amarillo,
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Magellan will be a larger,
longer-range aircraft targeting customers in the offshore oil
industry. The e-mail, sent to employees by CEO John Garrison, says
the machine, which is being developed by Bell at facilities in Fort
Worth, Arlington and Amarillo, will be assembled, flight tested and
delivered to customers in Amarillo.
The decision stems at least in part from production projections.
Garrison tells employees production of the company's other
commercial helicopters in Canada is expected to increase in the
next few years, while a decline in production of the V-22 Osprey in
Amarillo is expected to free up capacity there.
Bell employs about 6,800 workers in Fort Worth, Arlington and
Grand Prairie, and 1,200 in Amarillo, Texas. Bell is thought to be
saving the official announcement of the Magellan for Heli-Expo
2012, February 11-14 in Dallas, TX.
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