A factory new Bell 407 GXP series aircraft from Bell Helicopters USA procured by Nepalese Army has landed in Nepalese Army premises in Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today approximately at 1:20 PM.
The aircraft today took off from India. However the aircraft initially flew from Singapore. It took a 4 days ferry flight trip for the aircraft to land Nepal from Singapore. A crew of pilots from Singapore and Nepalese Army flew the aircraft from Singapore to Nepal.
An official from Nepalese Army informed that the aircraft will be handed over to Directorate General of Army Aviation (DGAA) within next month and the aircraft will soon initiate its operation from VVIP wing of DGAA he added. The aircraft will be used for VVIP flights.
The new helicopter is equipped with all glass cockpit and is expected to be a suitable aircraft for mountainous terrain of Nepal.
Nepalese Army has already been operating two Bell 206 aircraft since decades to fly the VVIPs. However the addition of Bell 407 GXP is for the first time. Just a couple of days back Nepalese Army conducted test flight from its newly assembled Agusta Aw319 aircraft too. The aircraft will also operate through VVIP operation under DGAA.
Nepalese Army Aviation currently owns 13 aircraft which includes four MI-17, two Bell 206, one Agusta, three Écureuils, one Lancer and one Islander and one PZL M28 Sky truck excluding this Bell 407 GXP. The defense force has recently sold its two Aérospatiale AS-332L-1 Super Pumas, an advanced chopper for VIPs, to China.
Agusta 310, H125 and a Bell 407 GXP are recent purchases of Nepalese Army. The other purchases of Piper aircraft and Skytruck aircraft are also anticipated to join the fleet soon.