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Wed, Mar 09, 2011

Bell Helicopter, Rolls-Royce Team Up To Upgrade 206 Engines

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."

FMI: www.uniflight.com

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