Avior Wins $35 Million Contract With Bell Helicopter

LAVAL, QC, March 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Avior Integrated Products Inc. today signed a US$35 million, multi-year contract with Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd. in Mirabel to supply structural assemblies for the new 429 Helicopter. Avior will manufacture the engine cowl structure, which includes multiple light-weight hybrid assemblies using advanced composite materials and aluminum. The composite work will be performed at Avior's composite facility in Granby and the metal fabrication at Avior's metal fabrication and assembly facility in Laval.

Mr. Stephen Kearns, President and CEO of Avior, said "We are very pleased to be awarded a major portion of this exciting new helicopter because it recognizes Avior's strategy to position the company as a center of excellence in lightweight, hybrid aerospace structures. This long term agreement also builds on the excellent commercial partnership both companies have enjoyed for the past 22 years and aligns our strategic interests to develop new products and technologies using state of the art composite materials." In 2008 Avior initiated a major expansion plan of its composite facility to elevate its technology level and increase production capacity. The company has doubled its clean room production space, added new inspection and process technology and recently installed an additional 8' by 26' autoclave. Kearns added, "It is expected the 429 Engine Cowl Program will create 60 new skilled jobs in Quebec."

The Model 429 program is Bel Helicopter's most advanced; IFR-certified light twin-engine helicopter for Emergency Medical Service (EMS), Corporate and Utility missions. Michael Mancuso, Director, Supply Chain & Global Sourcing for Bell Helicopter, said "We have introduced a helicopter that meets or exceeds every critical design element identified by demanding customers. Avior's growth and new direction achieved in recent years gives us confidence in having such a competent supplier in close proximity."

About Avior Integrated Products: A privately-held Canadian company, full-service supplier of lightweight structural assemblies for the international aerospace industry. The company's core operations are manufacturing and assembly of composites, acrylics and metal components, and engineering capabilities in manufacturing support and new product development. See www.avior.ca.

About Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd.: A Bell Helicopter affiliate, manufactures Bell's commercial helicopters at its 656,600-square-foot (61,000-square-meter) Mirabel facility and employs 1,600 people there and at facilities in Calgary, Alberta, and St. Jérôme, Quebec. See www.bellhelicopter.com.

About Bell Helicopter: A wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries. See www.bellhelicopter.com.

About Textron: A multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands, such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. See www.textron.com.


For further information: For further information: Joe Marcheschi, (450) 629-6200, j_marcheschi@avior.ca

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