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Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, will showcase its aircraft at this year’s NATO Days in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Bell will have two aircraft on static display for the public to experience; a Bell 429 operated by Slovak air rescue company, Air-Transport Europe, and a privately owned Bell 505 Jet Ranger X.
“It is a privilege to be back at NATO Days this year. We are proud of our relationship with the Czech Republic and remain fully committed to continuing our bond for years to come,” said Joel Best, director of military sales and strategy, Europe. “The Czech Republic and Bell are both highly innovative, and we are excited to bring Bell’s military and commercial platforms and industry support to the Czech Republic to support the future of vertical lift for the region.”
Both the Bell 429 and Bell 505 are versatile, ultra-modern helicopters designed to accomplish a variety of missions, ranging from corporate, to helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), to public safety.
Air-Transport Europe’s Bell 429 will be on display in a medical configuration and is currently flown as part of the Slovak air rescue service. It operates three Bell 429s that were manufactured in 2016 and have each flown over 740 flight hours.
“The Bell 429 on display, which operates out of air ambulance centers in Zilina, Banska Bystrica and Kosice and also serves as a backup helicopter for the center in Olomouc, is a twin-engine multi-purpose helicopter powered by 820 kW engines, which enables us to fly at a maximum speed of 173 mph (278 km/h) with an impressive range of 722 km (449 m),” said Roman Pavlik, spokesman for Air-Transport Europe in the Czech Republic. “The great advantages of the helicopter are the spacious cabin with a volume of 5.78 metres-cubed, which is one of the most spacious in its class, and the rear clamshell doors for easy loading of patients.”
The 505 is Bell’s new multi-mission five-seat aircraft designed for safety, efficiency and reliability through the use of advanced avionics technology. A high-tech flight deck and adaptable cabin design make it an extremely cost-competitive aircraft capable for any challenge, whether utility, corporate, adventure, training, HEMS or public safety.
An open-cabin design gives the of the 505 the ability to view real-time information on a HD screen, while providing the ideal conditions for instructor and student situational awareness. Proven high inertia means added safety during auto-rotation practice, while optional auto-pilot allows coupled approach flight training. The menu-driven Garmin G1000 Nxi integrated avionics system mimics the cockpit system of the 429. The G1000 Nxi is the latest in Garmin avionics systems innovation, providing pilots with the situational awareness to ensure that every mission is successfully completed. Bell has delivered more than 260 505 aircraft and has logged over 50,000 customer flight hours.
Last year, The Czech Republic selected the Bell UH-1Y ‘Venom’ and AH-1Z ‘Viper’combat proven helicopters for the military modernization program. Only Bell’s AH-1Z and UH-1Y share 85 percent commonality between parts, allowing the Czech Republic to accomplish diverse missions from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to close air support and air-to-air warfare. The program includes pilot and personnel training, maintenance support, as well as the requirement for Czech industry to be involved in the lifetime support of the aircraft. Delivery of the eight UH-1Y and four AH-1Z helicopters to the Czech Republic is scheduled to be complete by 2023.
In addition to the industrial participation program, Bell has been working with industry partners on several efforts beyond that required by the H-1 program. During the height of the pandemic, Bell provided financial assistance to support Czech Technical University’s (CTU) production of 3D-printed N95 masks, which were donated to military troops and law enforcement personnel. The Bell European Center of Excellence is located in Prague.
Bell is a leader in technology and innovation. Bell’s most recent wins include the Bell 360 Invictus and V-280 Valor being selected as finalists for the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competitions. Bell recently unveiled its new Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) in Fort Worth, Texas. The center will test and refine technologies to support manufacturing readiness for future vertical lift (FVL) aircraft.