Bell Helicopter Signs Agreement with Aichi Prefecture for Bell 412EPI
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announces it has a signed purchase agreement with Aichi Prefecture for a Bell 412EPI configured for parapublic operations and used specifically for firefighting missions and disaster relief.
“The selection of the Bell 412EPI will enhance Aichi’s capability and help ensure the safety and security of citizens throughout the region,” says Richard Thornley, Bell Helicopter’s managing director in Japan. “Bell Helicopter continues to invest in modernized technologies to increase customer value and aircraft performance, and the upgraded EPI platform offers an advanced flight deck and more horsepower, which fit the mission needs of our customer. We are delighted and honored that Aichi has chosen the Bell 412 again, following 20 years of superior performance with their Bell 412EP workhorse.”
The Bell 412 platform continues to garner interest from international customers, including the Canadian Coast Guard, which is under contract to receive seven Bell 412EPIs in 2017. The Philippine Department of National Defense also recently accepted eight Bell 412EPs into their fleet.
“The Bell 412EPI is highly reliable, versatile, and capable of performing a number of missions in the most challenging environmental conditions, making it the preferred choice for this parapublic role,” says Thornley. “Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau issued the Type Certificate for the Bell 412 series, including the EPI last year, which has increased interest in the platform. The Bell 412EPI also serves as the base design for the UH-X replacement of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force’s current fleet of aging UH-1J.”
The Bell 412EPI improves the Bell 412 platform with the Bell BasiX Pro fully integrated glass flight deck, providing critical flight information at-a-glance for greater situational awareness and safety. The Bell BasiX Pro system is specifically designed to meet the requirements of twin-engine helicopters and is optimized for IFR, Category A and JAR OPS3 compliant operations. The avionics suite also includes high resolution digital maps, electronic charts and approach plates, ADS-B transponder and optional HTAWS and XM satellite links. The Bell 412EPI features the BLR Strake and FastFin system, which modifies the tailboom to optimize airflow and improve handling, safety and lift. The Bell 412EPI also incorporates the power of Pratt & Whitney's PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines, providing 15 percent more horsepower than the standard Bell 412 and supported in Japan.
Bell Helicopter Co., Ltd. was established in Japan in January 2014 for the primary purpose of building upon long-term customer and partner relationships to the benefit of Japan’s rotorcraft market. Bell Helicopter’s office in Tokyo serves as a hub for sales, marketing, and aftermarket service efforts. Customers in Japan are also supported by authorized customer service facilities: Fuji Heavy Industries, Naka Nihon and Aero Asahi.