Following “technology roadmaps” and adapting to customer demand is helping Bell Helicopters ensure their production aircraft keep pace with rapid change.
Bell Business Development Director Middle East and Africa, Bell (Military) Doug Wolfe, explained the manufacturer worked with US military “technology roadmaps” to ensure aircraft would be able to adapt to future technological specifications. Bell has two military products in its H1 programme the UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper.
As technology advances, customers demand more
Wolfe explained: “We follow the US marine corps tech roadmap. The aircraft are designed to live about 25 years but obviously needs to be enhanced by technology. The technology roadmap brings us out many years ahead, so we follow that with the Marines and work with them to build that technology into the aircraft to keep it current.”
Wolfe added that the pace of change showed no signs of slowing: “As technology advances, customers demand more. With the battlefields getting much more complicated, systems that protect the aircraft, protect the pilots and help pilots see further away at stand off range, are becoming more important. The Zulu is a great aircraft for that already and so will the enhancements be in the future."
Among the aircraft displayed by Bell at the Dubai Airshow were a mock up of 525 fly-by-wire aircraft, currently in certification process and the Bell 505, a replacement for the Bell 206.