Bell Helicopter's Customer Training Academy began classes Jan. 10 at its new facilities at Alliance Airport, Fort Worth, Texas.
The academy has been training pilots for 57 years, since Bell began training in its Model 47 aircraft in 1947. In that time, according to Bell, the academy has trained more than 90,000 students, both pilots and mechanics, from more than 100 nations. The company said it also has trained tens of thousands of military personnel over the years.
"The Bell Customer Training Academy, with its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class instructors is an enormously important part of our goal to be the world's premier aircraft manufacturer," said Bell Helicopter CEO Mike Redenbaugh.
The new facility has 18 large, modern classrooms and aircraft overhaul labs fitted for modern learning technology tools, including more than 41,000 sq. ft. of hangar space for hands-on maintenance training.
The company has built a new training heliport within a few minutes flying time of the academy. The new flight-training practice area is built on 100 acres just to the northwest of the Texas Motor Speedway and has three runways--a 2000-ft. lighted north/south runway an 850-ft. north/south runway and an 850-ft. east/west runway. There are four separate concrete landing pads. Full-time rescue personnel provide on-site support with a rescue cab and fire truck at their disposal.
The entire site is dedicated solely for the use Bell academy flight training.
The academy has a staff of 65 people including instructors and administrative personnel, seven dedicated training helicopters as well as three cockpit procedures training devices.