6 March 2011 – Orlando, Florida, Uniflight announced today a revolutionary cooperative venture between Bell Helicopter and Rolls-Royce to provide the RR500 turboshaft as an engine upgrade kit to the venerable 206 series of light single engine helicopters. The program will significantly improve the performance of the aircraft for hot climate and high altitude operating conditions. The option kit will be certified and offered by Uniflight as a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to the original aircraft type certificate and is expected to be finalized in 2013, promptly after the issuance of the engine type certificate.
The upgrade will further advance the mission performance, operational efficiencies and capability of the benchmark light single engine helicopter first introduced by Bell Helicopter in the 1960s. The comprehensive developmental program will be led by Uniflight with significant participation by both Bell Helicopter and engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce. The kit will apply to all variants of the 206B JetRanger series and the “straight L” model of the 206L LongRanger series aircraft as a retrofit option.
Speaking from the 2011 HAI Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida, company president and chief executive officer Joe Hawke commented, “This program is a significant advancement to an aircraft that has been known around the world as the standard by which all other light single engine helicopters have been judged for over forty years. Not only will we improve the performance of the 206 series helicopters with the Rolls-Royce RR500 engine, it will also significantly lower the direct operating costs for the aircraft. We’re fortunate to be leading this effort with industry stalwarts such as Bell Helicopter and Rolls-Royce.”
For almost three decades, north Texas based Uniflight has earned a well deserved reputation for the highest standards in aircraft completions, overhaul, maintenance and aircraft support. The company has comprehensive avionics installation, repair and inspection capabilities as well as helicopter dynamic component inspection, overhaul and repair facilities. Uniflight is an authorized service center for American Eurocopter and a Bell Helicopter Platinum level customer service facility. The company is headquartered in Grand Prairie, Texas and has facilities in Reading, Pennsylvania and Rome, New York, and additional facility expansion is underway. Uniflight provides helicopter service and support for Agusta, Bell, Eurocopter and MD helicopters as well as fixed wing aircraft capabilities to support the most discerning customers. Uniflight is an approved FAA repair station as well as avionics dealer for Garmin, Sandel, NAT and others. Additional information regarding the aircraft services and support offered by Uniflight can be found at www.uniflight.com or by calling 972-623-3444.