Blade Aviation Thrives with New Bell 407 GXi Aircraft

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.

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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.”

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About Bell

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.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

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