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Sat, Jun 04, 2005

Bell's ARH Demonstrator

Takes Flight at XworX

A Bell 407, converted to a flying demonstrator aircraft for the U.S. Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program (ARH), flew for the first time Friday at the company's XworX research and development facility at Arlington Municipal Airport. 

Bell Test Pilot Lynn Morgan and Flight Test Engineer Brian Cassidy flew the Bell ARH Demonstrator on its first hop of 0.4 hours early in the morning. The ARH Demonstrator was flown three times today for a total of 1.5 flight hours.

Friday's flight testing demonstrated rotor and power train technology, handling qualities, structural dynamics and the FLIR System. Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, is offering the Bell ARH in the program to produce 368 new helicopters for the Army to be delivered between fiscal years 2006-2011. 

The Bell ARH is based on the highly successful commercial Bell 407. Over 600 Bell 407 helicopters are in service with over 1.2 million flight hours.  The Army is expected to make a decision on the ARH program within the next two months. The Bell ARH will be completed at the company's Military Aircraft Assembly Center, Amarillo, Texas.

FMI: www.bellhelicopter.textron.com

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