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Old 7th Sep 2013, 05:44   #61 (permalink)
 
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From the image there appears to be an open cabin with no broom closet. That's a major structural change.
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Old 7th Sep 2013, 09:26   #62 (permalink)
 
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PAN: Not forgetting other Bell 'greats' such as the 214ST and the 206LT TwinRanger and in the MDH camp, the 'astonishing' MD600.

KJ: Not sure how much 'structure' will be carried over from the original 206 series. Very little I suspect. Can't imagine them using the 'bath tub' or any of the for'ard structure at all in fact. If, as Sagedm suggests, they will use the L4 transmission for future power upgrades, then they will need a suitably 'beefy' tailboom so, they may use a modified (ie. shorter) version of the L4's strengthened boom. That's about the only structural component I can see them carrying across but, detailed information (as yet), remains scarce.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 13:31   #63 (permalink)
 
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Going to be equipped with G1000

Textron Inc. : Bell Helicopter to Equip New Short Light Single Aircraft with Garmin G1000H Integrated Avionics System | 4-Traders

Nice!
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 04:51   #64 (permalink)
 
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Since this SLS model is intended for high production numbers, I don't see how utilizing existing hardware (like heritage gearbox designs) will reduce costs long term. I agree that adopting a single modern turboshaft engine is a good idea. But it would also be a smart move to design a dedicated drivetrain using the latest technology for this model.

Unfortunately, it seems that the bean-counters at Bell have decided that it is not worth the time and effort to design and qualify a new drivetrain for this product.
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 13:14   #65 (permalink)
 
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The bean counters at Robinson seem to know what they're doing with the R66 vs. the engineers at EC on the EC120 if you look at sales totals.
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Old 3rd Oct 2013, 14:26   #66 (permalink)
 
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But it would also be a smart move to design a dedicated drivetrain using the latest technology for this model.
I believe that is precisely the trap they are trying to avoid. Using proven, off-the-shelf, low-cost components will allow them to come in under the price target and help keep NRE expenditures down.

I dont think this is a new modern 206 replacement; it's a dedicated Robbie fighter.
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Old 11th Dec 2013, 13:13   #67 (permalink)
 
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To be assembled in Lafayette, La

After what it termed a highly competitive, multi-state site-selection process, Bell Helicopters announced today that it has chosen Lafayette as the location for a plant that will assemble its new line of SLS helicopters, the contemporary version of Bell's industry-standard JetRanger. Bell will invest $11.4 million in equipment and tooling, according to a statement from LED. The plant will create 115 new direct jobs at an average annual salary of $55,000 each, plus benefits. LED estimates the project will mean another 136 additional permanent, indirect jobs.

Full article: News alert: Bell to build helicopter assembly plant in Lafayette
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Old 13th Dec 2013, 21:41   #68 (permalink)
 
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"Bell to build helicopter assembly plant in Lafayette"

The title of that article is a bit misleading. Louisiana taxpayers are actually the ones building the plant. Bell will simply be making use of it. The state is contributing 3 times as much financial support to the facility as Bell is. The SLS will likely be a very successful product for Bell, and the Lafayette plant should remain in operation for a long time. But the state is spending $34M to add 251 jobs ($135K per job), which does not seem like an efficient use of taxpayer money. On the other hand, this a great deal for Bell and TXT shareholders.
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Old 17th Dec 2013, 22:11   #69 (permalink)


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Devil

Is the demise of Bell's Mirabel operation?
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 18:13   #70 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up launching at heli-expo?


Who's going?
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 19:51   #71 (permalink)
 
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Fascinated by why bell have chosen to use the L4 rotor system when a fully developed and mature 4 blade system is available.

Noise reduction alone will improve the appeal of the new product to potential buyers in sensitive locations.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 20:59   #72 (permalink)
 
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Less parts count = less cost. Off the shelf componets = less R&D cost
A K-Mart blue light special.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 21:38   #73 (permalink)
 
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Two blades are also hangar friendly for an economy model ... keep it in your car port stuff.... and have great autorotational properties.

That may leave the four blade head as an option for a future GT XLS version later.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 22:17   #74 (permalink)
 
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Phlying,

I'm going

Cheers
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 22:38   #75 (permalink)

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"If you are a pilot...you were basically trained in a Jet Ranger"..

I lost interest after that statement.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 02:56   #76 (permalink)
 
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Re: Flying Guy's comments on the R66 vs. EC 120

When you look at initial purchase price, there is an obvious and rather large
difference. If the owner does not actually make much use of the aircraft, the
Calendar O/H life still keeps it's advantage.
However, if the aircraft is going to have some sort of steady utilization, the
apparent advantage starts to disappear.
R66 O/H at 12 years or 2200 Hours? At 500 hours/year that is 250,000 (maybe
Up to 300,000) every 4 1/2 years. the re-sale value will depend less on how well
Maintained the aircraft is vs. a straight line depreciation based on time/calendar
time.(Although I realize some accountant types prefer this)
I will admit a healthy dose of prejudice toward the 120 but I think you need
To look at total life cycle cost and re-sale value rather than the overly-simple
Short term "but it costs less"
in the long run run, I believe the term is "Horses for courses" and everyone's
situation is different, but if you want to compare the two aircraft (or any two
aircraft for that matter) you need to look at all facets, including how it is built,
And what it cost to design it. again the 120 is not a bargain basement deal,
But the development and certification of crashworthy seating, structure, fuel
system, and a very intuitive industry leading (at the time of it's development)
display system, was not without cost.

Regards,

Rigidhead
(please excuse the typo's. I have not quite mastered the vagaries of our new I-Pad as of yet!)
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 12:17   #77 (permalink)
 
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I don't disagree that the EC120 aircraft is better built, better designed, has better crashworthiness, etc than a R66. You get what you pay for. All day, everyday it beats it.

Except for when it comes to cost. Initial (MUCH higher) and DOCs, which I think there's around a $100 difference in per hour costs last time I checked C&DD.

If I had the cash, I'd buy the EC120 as well over the R66... but the market has overwhelmingly shown that they don't want to pay that much for this sized aircraft.
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 13:24   #78 (permalink)
 
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Question SLS Vs R66

Well, not exactly a $1m price advantage, more like $250k. Given the specs, the R66 should face a good competitor.

But it's surprising isn't it? Why is Bell chasing Roby?
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 15:37   #79 (permalink)
 
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I don't think Bell is chasing Robinson. I think Bell is chasing customers, of which Robinson seems to have a lot.
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Old 21st Feb 2014, 22:03   #80 (permalink)
 
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Bell SLS = 505 Jetranger X ????

Anyone know what Bell is planning to officially call the SLS? I've heard it will be called the Bell 505 Jetranger X. Not sure if the that "X" is roman numeral 10 or for the X factor.
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