7/26/2007 - Fort Worth, TX -- Bell Helicopter, a
subsidiary of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT), announced that
the Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program,
continuing to progress at an unprecedented pace for a
major program, has surpassed the 750 test flight hours
mark in less than two years from contract award.
The Bell ARH Program Manager, Bob Ellithorpe,
commented, "The aircraft continues to perform well.
The joint Bell/Army team close working relationship
has allowed us to keep the rapid pace of development
and I expect it to continue right through delivery to
the soldiers in the field."
Much of the ARH increased performance is a result of a
new engine integrated into the proven Bell 407
airframe. The Honeywell HTS900-2 engine has
successfully completed over 175 hours of flight
testing and continues to demonstrate exceptional
performance. Other recent accomplishments include
expanding the ceiling envelope to 14,000 feet, flight
testing with external weapon stores.
The next major milestone for the ARH Program is the
Limited User Test or LUT. This milestone will evaluate
how well the ARH-70A meets the program requirements.
The LUT will be conducted by Army Test Pilots. The
current ARH SDD program has both Army and Bell test
pilots flying the necessary missions.
The ARH program consists of 512 aircraft to replace
the venerable OH-58D Kiowa Warrior which is doing
yeoman's work in the Global War on Terror.
Source: Bell Helicopter Press Release