Law enforcement agencies looking to maximize their airborne helicopter units are slowly moving toward twin- and multi-engine craft that offer greater flexibility of use for a variety of units, a Bell Helicopter executive tells POLICE Magazine.

But American law enforcement agencies, unlike their European counterparts, haven't exclusively shifted away from single-engine craft, Larry Roberts, a Bell senior vice president, told POLICE on Tuesday.

"We have started to notice a slow interest and transition into twins for their ability to perform a multi-mission purpose," Roberts said. "That translates to first responders [wanting the craft for missions] such as tactical insertion, search and rescue, command and control, and other roles in LE agencies. We're seeing a slow creep into twins although it's not going to be like Europe, which is light-twin exclusively."

Roberts spoke to POLICE via teleconference on Tuesday from the 2010 Air Medical Transport Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Bell Helicopter announced it has sold 32 helicopters at the show mostly for medical evacuation. For law enforcement, the company offers two twin- or multi-engine helicopters — the 412 and 429. It's single-engine craft are the 206L4 and 407.

Author

Paul Clinton
Paul Clinton

Web Editor

As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.

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As the POLICE Web editor, Paul Clinton contributes posts about patrol cars, motorcycles, and other police vehicles. He previously wrote about automotive electronics as managing editor of Mobile Electronics. Prior to that, he was an award-winning newspaper reporter.

View Bio
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