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vanc407

Bell Civil Product Lines In Mirabel, Or Texas

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I seem to recall that when Bell launched in Mirabel, they told the unions that all Bell civil helicopter product lines from that time on would be at Mirabel.

 

So they've just launched the 525 and production is going to be in Texas, apparently.

 

Hmm, have the unions got anything to say, or was the "all lines in Mirabel" for a limited period, or do I just recall "the deal" wrongly?

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Mirabel is not a union shop. They are busting at the seams as it is. Without a major expansion, they would never fit a 525 line in that building.

 

And they are doing some major expansions in Texas....

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After all the bla, bla, bla from the suits i hope the guys sitting in the drivers seats have a good ride in a seat that is better than the one in my old '71 VW bug and when looking out the side windows you can actually see something besides the door frame... (speaking of the 206) No we have an air frame that can't seat people comfortably, let's bang off a few more models. Of course this new one is a mediem and more targeted to the IFR/off shore and perhaps medivac (?) market. Have to agree it sure looks like a S-92 or an AW-139, nice lines. Hopefully they got it right this time.

 

Anyway, lots on You Tube about this new machine but at the cost i don't think we will be seeing it on fires (40% off, we're having a sale! lol) or drill support in Canada any time soon. On a related note, what ever happened to the B210? No military contract/side lined?

 

 

Just a comment on the Bell team: It's a shame that when they discovered that the 206 design was flawed in its crash worthiness, rather than redesign the seat base they just jacked up the seats three or four inches. They did this to help prevent injuries to peoples spines when subjected to compression but what they also did was to condemned anyone piloting or flying in these models if they were taller than average height a sore back from being hunched over. I really pity the poor SOB in the back middle. Hey you Bell guys, why don't you come up with a light machine that is more like the Astar, you know, head room and quiet but you can skip that window in the floor! (i'd rather look out the door but maybe that's just me...) :)

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I believe they only ever made 5 210's......Minit man and Whirlwind have them...I think.

 

As the 429 is technically a Light, and they are investing so much in the 407 still......they won't have a new light single for a long time......

 

They had been talk of a "419"....a single engine 429........but it was just talk.

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I applaud Bell for bringing something to the table again. although it seems peiced together from different models which doesn't surprise me, it is a cost effective way to increase profit margins. But will it turn Bell around? doubt it.

 

Its geared towards a specific segment of the market where sales will be lower with high dollar value.

Nothing I'm interested in actually. Nothing I will ever see in my lifetime. Who ever gets to work the bugs out of it, good luck and enjoy. Its just a another bell with some purdy accesories.

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I am sure that Bell and all the other companys have done feasibility studies about whether or not there is a market for new light or medium helicopters purely for the VFR/utility sector. Probably the numbers just don't add up to profit or perhaps the greatest profit. When you look at the number of machines produced verses what is still out there flying i think it will be years before we see anything if ever.

 

Maybe in 20 years we will be getting B525R's as hand-me-downs from the IFR sector, strip all the fluffy stuff out of them and put them to work on fires and drill camps etc.. Fully half of all heli work world wide is IFR and that seems to be the target market of all the big players, multi engine IFR. Have seen a few Russian machines over the years and those were really bare bones, no carpet or or stupid plastic trim that turns yellow or A/C, just a flying no frills pick up truck!

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Well just by virtue of the fly-by-wire, airbus like controls....there will always be some "frills" in that machine.

 

PHI, Chevron, Era etc....the oil guys down in the GoM have deep pockets.....so they do get first dibs. And really if you think about it, the 412 can't compete with a AW139. That was the sector where Bell was being left behind. No matter what your personal opinion may be, the 407 holds its own in the light single market The A-Star isn't exactly cutting edge either.(....and they always seem to be missing a rotor blade....and they spin the wrong way...you think they'd fix that).

 

They needed a 139 killer.....

 

It will be interesting to see how it holds up. As I come from a commercial airplane background, migrated to helicopter....I will say that standards are much lower in the helicopter world...particularly when it comes to the routing/clamping of wire. The use of spiral wrap instead of proper wire separation is quite rampant in the the maintenance world. The use of grommets instead of proper clamps etc etc... And with the 525 being fly by wire I really REALLY hope that there is a culture shift. Wiring is always the red-headed step child when it comes to system integration....yet it's what can make you dead in a big hurry.

 

I'm not sure how much of a pick-up truck version there can ever be.....

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