The federal government has announced an investment of $49.5 M to support the development of next-generation helicopter technologies and to generate some 300 associated jobs.
The announcement was made this week by Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains. The funding will be directed to an aerospace consortium led by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd. Consisting of Bell and 18 industry and academic partners, the consortium plans to develop innovative technologies that will be integrated into next-generation helicopters, which can fly with or without a crew on board, and fully autonomous aerial systems. Other innovations include technologies to make aircraft more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as well as technology to reduce noise pollution—the first of its kind on any aircraft.
The collaboration is projected to create or maintain more than 300 jobs in Canada, contribute almost $178 million to Canada’s GDP over the next five years and strengthen Canada’s position as a world-leading centre for innovation.
Partners in the consortium include Pratt & Whitney Canada, CMC Electronics, Esterline Technologies Corporation, several small and medium-sized businesses, and nine Canadian universities. Bell and its partners are investing more than $125 million in Canada’s aerospace industry through this project.