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HANGAR TALK Bell Helicopter Has Begun

Kiowa Warrior Cabin Conversion

Work is underway at Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. com- pany; on an Army contract for the conversion of an OH-58A cabin into a D-model cabin. In April 2009, the Army

exercised a contract option to have Bell Helicopter convert one OH-58A cabin into a new OH- 58D cabin and also complete the non-recurring engineering effort required to establish a cabin build line. The creation of a cabin build line would enable the Army to acquire new OH- 58D cabins from Bell to replace Kiowa Warrior aircraft whose cabins have been damaged beyond repair.

The first cabin conversion is scheduled for delivery to Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) next year. In May 2010, the Army issued a sole- source solicitation to Bell


Helicopter for the conversion of additional OH-58 cabins. Up to 66 cabins could be required to support the Army’s objective to replace combat losses and dam- aged aircraft.

Bell is also supporting CCAD with crash damage repairs on OH-58D aircraft. One Kiowa Warrior cabin has already been repaired and delivered to the Army. Two additional cabins are undergoing repairs. As work on each cabin is completed, it is shipped to an AMCOM Aviation Field Maintenance Directorate site for installation of dynamic components. Work also continues on the final lot of aircraft in the OH- 58D Safety Enhancement Program (SEP). In March 2010, the Army awarded Bell a con- tract to modify the final 30 OH-58D aircraft scheduled to enter the Kiowa Warrior SEP program. The final aircraft are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. When Lot 13 is


complete, a total of 371 Kiowa Warriors will have been modi- fied to the SEP configuration. To date, the U.S. Army’s fleet of Kiowa helicopters has accumulated more than 600,000 combat flight hours and approximately 2 million total flight hours. Despite unusually high usage rates and daily combat missions in a harsh operating environment, the OH-58D continues to maintain the highest OPTEMPO and highest readiness rate of any Army aircraft operating today.

Bell Helicopter Boosts

Performance For Bell 206L Single-Engine Helicopters, Reducing Upgrade Kit Price

Bell Helicopter announced the expansion of performance capabilities to its line of 206L single-engine helicopters with

performance upgrade offerings to customers at a reduced price. Bell has spent the past year listening to customer feedback and evaluating the performance of this product line and as a result reduced the price for its 206L1+ and 206L3+ Performance Plus Upgrade Kits. “Our goal is to offer all Bell operators with supplemental product offerings that not only improve the performance of the aircraft, but are both affordable and cost-effective as well. We have reduced the price of this upgrade kit to ensure our cus- tomers can maintain the lowest operating cost possible and continue to get more out of their aircraft on each and every mission flown,” said Danny Maldonado, senior vice presi- dent customer support and chief services officer.

Introduced late last year, the performance plus upgrade kit provides extended life for con- tinuous operation on Bell 206L1 and 206L3 helicopters. Long-time customer Air-Evac Lifeteam partnered with Bell Helicopter in kit development and was the first to install the performance upgrade on their

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