At a press conference on Monday at HAI’s Heli-Expo, Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison said that while the partnership with Boeing on the V-22 remains intact, the OEM would now be taking the lead in tiltrotor development for the Joint Multi Role (JMR) and Future Vertical Lift (FVL), where Boeing has partnered with Sikorsky. “We still have the same strong relationship with Boeing today on V-22 and will develop and sell that platform around the world.”
However, he continued: “We made a strategic decision on tiltrotor that we need to lead on the Joint Multi Role and Future Vertical Lift and we think that puts us in the best position to exploit [its] capabilities in the JMR/FVL arena. We were one of four companies selected to submit proposals on March 6.” Garrison referred to an AATD statement that he said had indicated that tiltrotor was the best future option from an operational effectiveness standpoint. “We believe it will come down to a technology battle between tiltrotor and a compound pusher technology—and we like our position. We already go twice as far and twice as far as conventional helicopters.”
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison at Heli-Expo. Photo by Andrew Parker
Garrison added that Bell would be presenting a third-generation tiltorotor as part of JMR and be showing it at Quad-A in April if appropriate. He said that the company would be able to attract the world’s best engineers and support team. He added that financial backing would be a significant challenge but there were many players that wanted to be “part of our team,” not just in engineering but in finance too.
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