Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announced on August 14, 2018 the delivery of two Bell 429s to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF). A third Bell 429 is scheduled for delivery to the JDF next year. The three aircraft will be used to complete a range of missions including, search and rescue, medical evacuations, natural disaster relief, national security and military training.
The JDF began its helicopter operations in 1963 with two Bell 47Gs. Its active fleet includes four Bell 407s, two Bell 412s and two Bell 206s.
«Over the years, our mission has evolved resulting in the need to acquire the Bell 429 to more effectively meet the demands of our mission profiles and further prove our rotary wing capability», said Colonel Roderick Williams, the JDF’s Colonel Adjutant Quartermaster and a former Commanding Officer of the JDF Air Wing. «The Bell 429 offers excellent performance and advanced avionics with outstanding maintainability and aircraft readiness for multi-mission operations».
Designed with the future in mind, the Bell 429 meets or exceeds today’s airworthiness requirements to enhance occupant safety, with the adaptability to remain at the forefront as mission requirements evolve. Advanced capabilities of the 429 include Single-Pilot Instrument Flight Rules (SPIFR), Category A operations and an integrated avionics glass cockpit. The use of metallic and composite parts in its construction creates balance between rigidity and flexibility, safety and durability.
On December 18, 2017, Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, announced that its V-280 Valor has achieved first flight. The V-280 Valor is a next-generation tiltrotor that is designed to provide unmatched agility, speed, range and payload capabilities at an affordable cost. This milestone represents exceptional progress on the V-280 development program and brings Bell Helicopter one step closer to creating the next generation of vertical lift aircraft for the U.S. military.
«This is an exciting time for Bell Helicopter, and I could not be more proud of the progress we have made with first flight of the Bell V-280», says Mitch Snyder, President & CEO for Bell Helicopter. «First flight demonstrates our commitment to supporting Department of Defense leadership’s modernization priorities and acquisition reform initiatives. The Valor is designed to revolutionize vertical lift for the U.S. Army and represents a transformational aircraft for all the challenging missions our armed forces are asked to undertake».
«We are thrilled to share in this success of the V-280 first flight with Team Valor», added Snyder. «The V-280 intends to completely transform what is possible for the military when it comes to battle planning and forward operations».
The Bell V-280 Valor program is part of the Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) initiative. The JMR-TD program is the science and technology precursor to the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift program. The V-280 program brings together the engineering resources and industrial capabilities of Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, General Electric (GE), Moog, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), TRU Simulation & Training, Astronics, Eaton, GKN Aerospace, Lord, Meggitt and Spirit AeroSystems – collectively referred to as Team Valor.
The Bell V-280 Valor is postured to provide the U.S. Army with the highest levels of maturity and technical readiness. The aircraft is designed to provide the best value in procurement, operations and support, and force structure, while delivering desired leap-ahead performance capabilities with increased maintainability, reliability and affordability to the Department of Defense (DoD). With twice the speed and range of conventional helicopters, the Valor is designed to offer maneuver commanders unmatched operational agility to self-deploy and perform a multitude of vertical lift missions currently unachievable in one aircraft. The Bell V-280 is a combat force multiplier with superior performance, payload, survivability, and reliability to give the warfighter the decisive advantage.
Reduced downwash to facilitate fast rope and hoist ops;
Landing Zone = UH-60/UH-1Y comparable;
12˚ slope landings;
Enhanced situational awareness & sensing in cockpit/cabin;
More medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) options during the golden hour;