AVIATION pioneers who forged a unique alliance with a North American industry giant have been praised for creating jobs and providing a boost to the economy.
Business leaders, politicians and guests commended Heli Charter during a launch party to celebrate the opening of the UK’s first ever purpose built helicopter showroom and maintenance facility at Manston, Kent, on Saturday. (September 21 2015)
The multi million pound architectural triumph is now home to Heli Charter, an Independent Representative and authorized Customer Support Facility for the famous North American company, Bell Helicopter.
Past President and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Helicopter, John Garrison, was flown to the new facility by Heli Charter’s Director Gary Slater, who was at the controls of a Bell corporate helicopter, a Bell 407GX.
After Mr Garrison cut the ribbon across the new helicopter centre in Merlin Way, he described it as ‘sensational’.
He said Heli Charter was the face of Bell Helicopter in the UK.
Mr Garrison had been welcomed to Heli Charter with music performed by the local Air Training Corps, who included ‘Those Wonderful Men in their Flying Machines’ in their repertoire.
Bell Helicopter is known across the globe for the iconic Bell UH 1 Huey, which served in Vietnam, and the Bell 47, which starred in the hit 1970s’ television show, MASH.
A rare 1973 ‘Huey’ was also on display at the Heli Charter launch party, along with the popular 21st century Bell 206 Jet Ranger, and Bell Helicopter’s newest aircraft, a twin engine Bell 429.
Bell Helicopter past CEO John Garrison praised Heli Charter’s CEO Ken Wills, and Director Gary Slater, for their ‘dynamic vision and passion for business’, and revealed how the solid relationship with Heli Charter will play a major role in Bell Helicopter’s resurgence in the global aviation market.
Mr Garrison also met key Heli Charter staff including Chief Engineer Colin Brunger, along with Heli Charter’s Chief Operating Officer and owner of many Bell 206 Jet Rangers, Steve Purchase.
Heli Charter is responsible for bringing North America back to Manston an airfield which had an historic association with the United States Air Force during both World War II, and the Cold War between 1950 and 1958.
During the war years, Bell Helicopter’s fixed wing aircraft, the Mustang and the Bell P 39 Airacobra, were used by the RAF.
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With Thanks to Heli Charter