by Lee Cannon
Bell Helicopter and Gulfstream Aerospace – Among the Leaders in Aircraft Manufacturing Field
Bell Helicopter – Revolutionizes the Way the World Flies:
Bell Helicopter was established in 1935 as Bell Aircraft Corporation. When Lawrence Dale Bell founded the company in Buffalo, New York, its initial focus was immediately to design and produce military aircraft. This is a business model that Bell Helicopter continues to this day, manufacturing rotorcraft and other military helicopter and tilt rotor products around the Forth Worth, Texas area. In addition, it designs commercial rotorcraft and provides training and support services. The very first aircraft produced by Bell Helicopter were the XFM-1 Airacuda and the P-39 Air comet. The Airacuda was twin-engine fighter designed to attack bombers. The P-59 Air comet and the P-63 King cobra, the first American fighter jets, were also successful Bell products. In 1960, Textron acquired Bell Aerospace. Of Bell’s here divisions, only its helicopter division is still produced aircraft. Its helicopter division gained its reputation during the Vietnam War by developing the UH-1, the most widely used helicopter in the entire war. Over 16,000 UH-1 helicopters have been produced worldwide, of which over 7,000 saw action in the Vietnam War. The successful production of the UH-1 propelled this division to become one of the largest at Textron. In 1976, Textron changed the name of the company to Bell Helicopter Textron, to which it is known today.
Bell Helicopter has made the following commercial helicopters: Bell 47, 204, 205, 206, 210, 212, 214,214ST, 222, 230, 407, 412, 417, 427, 429, 430, 525 Relentless, and the SLS. Of these, the Bell 206, 407, 412, and 429 are still in production while the Bell 525 Relentless and Bell SLS are currently under development. In terms of military helicopters, Bell has produced the following: H-13 Sioux, Bell HSL, UH-1 Iroquois, UH-1N Twin Huey, Bell 533, AH-1 Cobra, AH-1 Sea Cobra, YAH-63/Model 409, OH-58 Kiowa, UH-1Y Venom, AH-1Z Viper, and the ARH-70/Model 445. Tilt rotor aircraft, which are considered a much more recent development in aviation history, includes the V-280 Valor, V-22 Osprey, Bell/August BA609, TR918 Eagle Eye UAV, and Quad Tilt Rotor. The V-22 Osprey is one of the more widely used aircraft in the United States military today. It should also be noted that Bell Helicopter works very closely with Augusta Westland, which dates back many years and led to the production of the Bell/Augusta BA609.
Gulfstream Aerospace – Delivering High Performance Business-jet Aircraft:
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, specializing in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing, and servicing of business-jet aircraft. Since 1958, Gulfstream has produced more than 2,000 aircraft. Its current fleet consists of the following models: G150, G280, G350, G450, G500, G550, and G650. Models formerly manufactured by Gulfstream are the G100, G1, GII, GIII, GIV, GV, G200, G300, and G400. All these formerly produced models are twin-engine business jets. The current fleet today is based off designs of these obsolete models. The G280 is based off the GII, the G350/G450 is based off the GIV, and the G500/G550 is based off the GV. Its newest design, the G650, is an ultra-long-range business jet that boasts an ultra-large cabin.
The Gulfstream G100, formerly known as the Astra SPX, is an Israel Aircraft Industries-manufactured twin-engine business jet that is now produced for Gulfstream Aerospace. In 2005, it was replaced by the G150. The G280 is also built by Israel Aircraft Industries and began delivery to users in 2012. It boasts several modifications, including increased cabin length, a new HTY7250G engine, and wing anti-ice provided by engine bleed air. It competes against Hawker 4000, Bombardier Challenger 300, and Embraer Legacy 500. The Gulfstream G500 and G550 were released into service in 2003, featuring increased performance and extended range of 6,750 nautical miles, due to reductions in aerodynamic drag, giving it the longest flight range in its class. It competes against the Airbus Corporate Jet, Boeing Business Jet, and Bombardier Global Express. The newest model, Gulfstream G650, is the fastest and most expensive product manufactured, clocking in at a top speed of Mach 0.925. The G650 program began in 2005 and was revealed to the public in 2008. This plane has such amenities as a full kitchen and bar and is also equipped with satellite phones and wireless Internet. This new jet will use the Rolls-Royce BR725 engine. It made its first flight in 2009 and began deliveries to customers in 2012.