Bell reduces 407 operating costs with re-evaluation of life limited parts
Bell Helicopter has significantly reduced direct operating costs for 407 operators by removing a series of life limited parts in its maintenance manual.
As part of an ongoing effort to reduce direct maintenance costs on the Bell 407, a team of engineers has reevaluated life limited items listed in Maintenance Manual Chapter 4 to ensure operators are able to take full advantage of Bell products and more effectively operate their aircraft.
“Bell Helicopters are used around the globe to perform noble missions, and it is our goal to provide our customers with the safest, most reliable and cost-effective mission solution,” said Danny Maldonado, senior vice president and chief service officer. “We recognize the importance of direct maintenance costs to ensuring a profitable mission for our customers. Through this effort we are able to reduce the cost of operating and maintaining the aircraft, without compromising safety.”
Bell has removed 14 items from the life limited section of the 407 Maintenance Manual. The removal of these items plus an adjustment to the on-condition section will result in a reduction of more than 12 percent per flight hour to the published direct maintenance cost estimate, while maintaining the highest life level of stress margin.
A revision to the Bell 407 Maintenance Manual (Chapter 4) has been published on the website.
“At Bell we are on a mission to make our customers successful. We are making every effort to ensure our aircraft remain competitive in the marketplace and that Bell operators are fully supported throughout the entire lifecycle of their aircraft,” said Maldonado.
“This, combined with the recently released power-plus STC, is one more example of Bell’s continuing effort to add value to our customers’ mission through increased performance and operational cost savings at no cost to them,” said Larry D. Roberts, senior vice president commercial business.
Bell Helicopter added performance capabilities on the 407 at no additional cost to the customer with the 407 Plus Power Program. This is an STC that draws on excess power available from the 407's Rolls-Royce 250-C47B engine allowing an increase of the 407's useful load by more than 400 pounds. Bell is pursuing further enhancements for this proven performer.
Earlier this year, Bell Helicopter and the 407 reached a milestone few others have achieved with the delivery of the 1,000th aircraft out of its Mirabel, Canada facility. That ship is finishing completion at Bell affiliate, Edwards & Associates; customer acceptance is expected in early fourth quarter.