FAA Certification to Follow Early Next Year
The Bell 210 helicopter made it's first flight Saturday, at the
Bell subsidiary Edwards & Associates, located in Bristol, TN.
This successful flight marks the first in a series of qualification
flights as the Bell 210 goes thru FAA certification testing. Bell
expects to attain FAA certification during the first quarter of
2005, with deliveries following soon after.
The Bell 210 is a civil certified version of the US Army UH-1H.
Starting with a refurbished UH-1H fuselage, Bell Helicopter adds
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-53-517B engine providing a zero-time FAA certified single engine
medium utility helicopter.
"The Bell 210 is also the perfect solution for the many agencies
that use the UH-1H in utility, Homeland Security, law enforcement
or firefighting capacities," declared Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh.
"It combines great performance with an existing logistical base,
an unbeatable DOC (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," Redenbaugh explained.
The Bell 210 helicopter will satisfy the US Army's requirement
for a Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) in the TDA units as well as
the Army National Guard. There are many missions now supported by
the US Army with assets that are marked for reduction in the coming
years that the Bell 210 could more economically perform. These Army
Light Utility Helicopters will perform future utility missions for
non-combat organizations (TDA), National Guard utility, drug
interdiction efforts (RAID), MEDEVAC, and Homeland Defense (HLD)
The Bell 210 is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), FAA
certified, zero timed helicopter that will operate for around $550
per hour. The Bell 210 will allow the Army to unburden itself of
logistics and engineering overhead management and avail itself of
the Bell worldwide, world-class commercial support in spares,
manuals, and technical support very similar to the TH-67 program at
Ft. Rucker, AL. All this with a warranty and 40% reduction in
operating costs. Cost of the Bell 210 will be approximately $3
million. A comparable Huey-sized off the shelf commercial aircraft
would cost approximately $5 million.
The Bell 210 will have a useful load that is 640 lbs
higher than the UH-1H, 400 shaft horsepower increased horsepower
available, and the direct operating costs will be considerably less
than other aircraft in the same class.