Uniflight Will Put New Engines In JetRanger, LongRanger
A cooperative venture between Bell Helicopter and Rolls-Royce
was announced Sunday by Uniflight to provide the RR500 turboshaft
as an engine upgrade kit to the 206 series of light single engine
helicopters. The program will significantly improve the performance
of the aircraft for hot climate and high altitude operating
conditions. The option kit will be certified and offered by
Uniflight as an STC to the original aircraft type certificate and
is expected to be finalized in 2012.
The upgrade will further advance the mission performance,
operational efficiencies and capability of the benchmark light
single engine helicopter first introduced by Bell Helicopter in the
early 1960's. The comprehensive developmental program will be led
by Uniflight with significant participation by both Bell Helicopter
and engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce. The kit will apply to the
206B JetRanger and 206L LongRanger series aircraft as a retrofit
option. Finalization of contractual details to develop,
manufacture, market and deliver the innovative upgrade is currently
underway between the participating companies.
Speaking from the 2011 HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando Florida, company
president and chief executive officer Joe Hawke commented, "This
program is a significant advancement to an aircraft that has been
known around the world as the standard by which all other light
single engine helicopters have been judged for almost fifty years.
Not only will we improve the performance of the 206 series
helicopters with the Rolls-Royce RR500 engine, it will also
significantly lower the direct operating costs for the aircraft.
We're fortunate to be leading this effort with industry stalwarts
such as Bell Helicopter and Rolls-Royce."