Photo courtesy of Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter said it experienced a 75% increase in global commercial orders in 2017. Contributing to that was the more than 200 orders the manufacturer received from China alone.
According to Textron’s earnings release for the fourth quarter and full year of 2017, Bell revenues were $983 million, up 11% on higher military volumes. However, this was partially offset by lower commercial volumes.
Segment profit of $114 million was down $12 million, despite the increase in revenues, according to Textron. This was primarily attributed to a change in commercial mix.
Textron said Bell backlog at the end of the fourth quarter was $4.6 billion. That represented a decrease of $407 million from the end of the third quarter.
2017 was also a big year for Bell in terms of program progression. Its V-280 Valor tiltrotor reached a series of milestones, including first flight. Uber officially announced Bell as an urban air mobility partner. Deliveries of the 505 began. The Bell-Boeing V-22 reached 400,000 flight hours. And, of course, the 525 resumed flight testing with the NTSB’s report on the aircraft’s 2016 crash following months later.