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June 20, 2013
By Alton K. Marsh
Bell Helicopter is bringing yet another new helicopter model to market, this one a five-seater aimed at the utility, flight training, and law enforcement communities. The category is called short, light, single-engine. It was designed with customer input.
The first flight is set for 2014. The new helicopter is in the same class as the Bell 206 JetRanger introduced 50 years ago. It was time for an update, a company official said.
The helicopter will feature a high visibility, fully flat cabin floor with five forward-facing seats. It is designed to meet performance targets recommended by a customer advisory council, including a speed of 125 knots, a range of 360 to 420 nautical miles, and a useful load of 1,500 pounds.
It will be powered by a Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine rated at 450 to 550 shaft horsepower.
Improvements are aimed at reducing pilot workload, improving situational awareness, and delivering improved auto rotation capabilities.
AOPA is asking the FAA to withdraw a proposed airworthiness directive that could affect thousands of ECi cylinders.
Cessna reports "strong deliveries" of the new TTx since being awarded an FAA type certificate in June, and Brazil has followed suit.
Helicopter training is generally very safe. So why do run-on takeoffs and landings feel so wrong?
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.