“Welcome to Tiltrotor, Texas,” suggested then Potter County Judge, Arthur Ware, on the stage of the Amarillo Civic Center’s Grand Plaza Ballroom, exactly 25 years ago today.

On Monday, August 3, 1998, close to 600 business leaders, community members and statewide officials gathered at the Amarillo Civic Center for an announcement from Bell naming Amarillo as the future home to its V-22 final assembly operations.

Bell Textron Inc., a subsidiary of Providence, R.I. – based Textron Inc., was set to produce hundreds of tiltrotors known as the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Air Force. Although headquartered in the Fort Worth area, Bell was on the search for a new home for the V-22 assembly center and conducted an eight-month search across America examining 1,200 potential sites. A decision to keep the facility in Texas put Amarillo up against major cities in Texas such as Arlington, Austin, College Station, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

“The celebration was an exciting day because we knew the potential that this program would have for the future of Amarillo and our Military,” explains former Mayor and City Commissioner, Trent Sisemore as he reflects on that celebration so many years ago. “This was the culmination of many months of negotiations and work by community leaders who realized this was an opportunity that we may never have again, and we wanted to put Amarillo on the map as a player for any company that wanted to expand and do big things.”

Now 25 years later, the V-22 Osprey has fundamentally changed how the U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force and now Navy operates in combat and humanitarian operations. With a fleet of over 400 aircraft accumulating more than 700,000 flight hours, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey continues to prove it’s one of the most versatile and reliable aircraft for our customers and national security around the globe.

As of 2021, the partnership with Amarillo and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation’s investment of $120M over the years has resulted in Bell driving $2.1B back into the local economy.

Along with the V-22 program, Bell’s Amarillo team have historically produced OH-58, UH-1Y, and AH-1Z military helicopters at the facility, as well as future aircraft including the Bell 525, the 360 Invictus prototype, and Bell’s V-280 technology demonstrator that has been selected as the U.S. Army’s Future Long Range Assault Aircraft – a program of historic scope and scale to both Bell and Army Aviation.

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.

About Textron

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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