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Revenues at Bell Helicopter were up $78 million in the third quarter, with the manufacturer delivering 39 commercial helicopters and recording a profit of $106 million.
Bell’s performance, revealed in the release of Textron’s third quarter results on Oct. 19, represented an increase from the 25 units it delivered in the third quarter of 2016.
“We are seeing the commercial market for helicopters recover across most sectors and this is reflected in our sales performance,” said Patrick Moulay, executive vice president of commercial sales and marketing at Bell. “Our global footprint is growing steadily as we continue to deliver the new Jet Rangers around the world. Just last week, Nautilus Aviation accepted the first aircraft into Asia-Pacific.
“Continued success for the 407GXP this quarter with Caverton Helicopters confirming their fleet order in Africa and steady interest in private customers from Latin America and Europe for corporate transport” he added. “The Bell 429 continues to prove itself for helicopter emergency services and police missions with customers operating in the harshest environments, such as Air Zermatt choosing the Bell 429 over the competition.”
On the military side, the manufacturer delivered eight H-1s in the quarter, flat with last year, and five V-22s, down from six in last year’s third quarter.
“Excitement was at the heart of this third quarter with significant progress being made on the V-280 Valor,” said Vince Tobin, executive vice president of Bell’s military business. “Last week, the prototype successfully achieved ground run testing at 100 percent rotor RPM and we are on track for first flight this fall. Additionally, the U.S. Army just announced Future of Vertical Lift (FVL) is their third highest modernization priority, demonstrating the importance of this to the U.S. military.
“On the global front, we continue to see solid interest in the AH-1Z Zulu and UH-1Y Yankee around the world, these are the newest attack and utility helicopters on the market today and we look forward to nations confirming their interest to advance their capabilities in these uncertain times with the most modern platforms.”
Bell’s backlog at the end of the third quarter was $5 billion, down $413 million from the end of the second quarter.