Sustaining our role as Canada’s lead helicopter manufacturer and aerospace company, Bell’s purpose to deliver thrilling vertical lift solutions is exemplified by Ontario-based customer, Blade Aviation, and their success with Bell aircraft. Formerly known as Heli Muskoka, the Canadian operator completes executive-style aerial taxi shuttle flights, aerial construction support and scenic tours throughout the Muskoka region. Today, Bell’s advanced Bell 407 GXi platform fulfills Blade Aviation’s requirement for an aircraft that can carry five passengers while flying directly to Montreal from the Muskoka Toronto region, becoming the rising star among their fleet.
Since the Blade team’s test flight with the Bell 407 GXi at Bell’s Commercial Assembly and Delivery Centre in Mirabel, Quebec, company owners have been very impressed with its performance. In a Vertical Magazine feature, Blade Aviation Operations Manager, Jay McMackin, shares his admiration for the platform. “I was blown away, to be honest, with how it handled and how it flew – so stable and super smooth,” said McMackin. “The glass cockpit with the Garmin G1000H NXi system is really neat, and the machine is fast – we get 130 knots at 80 percent power in cruse. The power seems unlimited, and it’s just a really pilot-friendly machine, particularly with the three-axis autopilot.”
Bell’s Mirabel team customized the aircraft with luxurious black leather seats and red diamond stitching, giving it an executive appearance as it flies back and forth between the major metropolitan regions of Canada. McMackin has already completed 160 flight hours, made possible by the aircraft’s auxiliary fuel tank which allows it to fly for three hours before refueling. While Blade accumulates more flight hours on the Bell 407 GXi, they’re confident in Bell’s customer service and support team to keep them flying. “Right from the get-go, the guys were great at Bell, getting through everything and explaining everything, and answering any questions we had – from acceptance to the maintenance side of things,” McMackin said. “Any questions I have, I can call one of the guys at Bell, and I get answers right away.”
Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.
We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.
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Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.
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The aircraft are scheduled to be progressively delivered from late 2022 and will be used for tourism charter and utility flights in North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef region.