Bell Helicopter has
opened their new $20 million, 82,000 square foot repair and
overhaul center recently when they received their first V-22
component from the U.S. Marine Corps. The primary function of the
new facility is to support Bell aircraft currently operated by the
Many Bell aircraft, such as the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and AH-1W
Cobra, continue to see increased operations in combat environments
and Bell's new repair and overhaul center is designed to better
meet the needs of Department of Defense customers and provide
America's men and women in uniform the safest, most reliable
"This facility is dedicated to America's sons and daughters who
are out there protecting our country day in and day out," said Mike
Blake, Bell Helicopter's Chief Operations Officer and Chief Service
Officer during the ceremony marking the arrival of the first parts
to the facility.
U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel John Dantic, Assistant
Program Manager for Logistics reflected on the facilities
importance to the V-22 program. "The focus of the V-22 has
transitioned from engineering to logistics.
The Osprey will be called upon at any given moment to support
tomorrows' crises and the capability that Bell has created here
today helps ensure we will be ready for that call."
This new facility shows the depth of cultural change at Bell
Helicopter spearheaded by Chief Executive Officer Mike Redenbaugh.
Bell's Repair & Overhaul Center that went from concept to
reality in eight months, four months ahead of schedule, was
designed using Textron Six Sigma, eliminating waste and
"The capability afforded in this new facility will allow us to
serve the increasing demands of our military customers," explained
David Martin, Bell's Repair & Overhaul Center Director. "For
example, main rotor blades that traveled more than 1.6 miles during
the repair process now only travel approximately 300 feet, and
overhead handling changes have been reduced from seven times during
repair to just two."
And according to Martin, the opening of this new facility is
just the beginning.
"With this opening, it may feel like we are finishing a project,
but the truth is that we are just getting ready to come out of the
gate," Martin said. "This facility is a tool that will support the
troops on the frontlines, but will also help to manage our business
in a more efficient way. It will allow Bell to provide superior
service at reduced cost, and provide the long term support that our
customers are looking for."
The new repair and overhaul center will initially employ
approximately 80 people, working on various rotor blades,
gearboxes, transmissions, and drive train components. Additionally,
the new facility will also be certified as a Federal Aviation
Administration Repair Station.