Just curious if any operators in Canada have ordered a kit yet??
FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 17, 2009) - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today introduced the first Upgrade Program approved by Bell, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), to the model 206 LongRanger family of aircraft. The service introduction of the Upgrade Program is a result of a collaboration agreement between Bell Helicopter and Air Evac Lifeteam of West Plains, Mo.
The upgrade program takes existing 206L1/206L3 airframes, and utilizing production parts from the current 206L4 program, creates modernized 206L1+ / 206L3+ aircraft that will provide the proven 206L4 reliability, increased payload capacity and reduced operating cost.
The upgrade adds strength to the existing airframe, provides improved performance by updating the drive system components to the latest 206L4 configuration, and for the 206L1 versions it also includes an engine upgrade. These improvements provide a maximum internal gross weight of 4450 lbs, an increased transmission takeoff power rating to 490-shp and complies with multiple factory provided bulletins addressing product and maintenance improvements.
"Working with our customers we identified a need, then we developed a solution that will provide them with an enhanced aircraft," said David Archer, commercial programs manager at Bell. "This is just another example of our commitment to exceptional customer support and providing solutions to customers' needs."
By utilizing current 206L4 production parts, the upgrade kit assures customers of a ready parts supply and many years of continuous service.
Teams from both companies worked together throughout the project to develop and certify the First Article aircraft, since that time Air Evac has taken delivery of four kits that are currently being incorporated into their aircraft. The first 206L1+ and 206L3+ aircraft has been completed and are now in-service with Air Evac Lifeteam.