Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands of aircraft, defense and industrial products that provide customers with groundbreaking technologies, innovative solutions and first-class service. Our global network of businesses continues to develop a robust pipeline of new products and technologies to excite our customers and meet and exceed their expectations, including improved safety and sustainability product features. Below are some examples of how our products promote safety and environmental and economic sustainability.
Textron Specialized Vehicles has pioneered Samsung SDI lithium technology in its ELiTE series of fully electric lithium-powered vehicles, introduced in the E-Z-GO ELiTE golf cars in 2017 and expanded into Cushman utility vehicles in 2019.
Compared to traditional lead-acid battery technology, the batteries used in E-Z-GO’s ELiTE vehicles are designed to generate 95% less hazardous materials over their lifetime.
E-Z-GO ELiTE lithium golf cars are also significantly more energy-efficient than vehicles with lead-acid batteries and competitive vehicles with lithium batteries. For example, the E-Z-GO RXV ELiTE requires 0.83 kWh to complete a round of golf on a typical golf course as opposed to the nearest competing product which requires 1.74 kWh.
As of year-end 2019, more than 80,000 ELiTE vehicles were in service at more than 1,350 private golf facilities worldwide. On average, most golf cars complete 201 rounds of golf annually which translates to an estimated savings of approximately 7,679,205 kWh annually compared to lead-acid battery powered vehicles. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this energy savings is equal to:
As an industry, general and business aviation is alone in having developed internationally agreed-upon carbon emission reduction standards for both aircraft and operators. The industry is committed to addressing climate change, through three primary goals articulated in the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change established in 2009 and reaffirmed in 2015 by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the International Business Aviation Council:
Textron Aviation’s commitment to these goals is demonstrated through its actions on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). In an internal review process, the company has confirmed SAF as viable across its entire commercial jet and turboprop product line.
In 2019, Textron Aviation flew aircraft to major industry events such as EBACE and NBAA-BACE using an SAF mixture and has since begun offering SAF for selected customer deliveries. The company is supporting organizations such as the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association and the European Business Aviation Association in their work to improve access to and affordability of the fuel and awareness of its benefits among operators.
Helicopter design has traditionally required a mechanically driven tail rotor powered by the main engines. Through out-of-the-box thinking and pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible, Bell engineers are exploring a new system called Electrically Distributed Anti-Torque (EDAT) that employs a series of electric propulsion fans.
The EDAT system is composed of four small fans within a tail rotor. Each of the rotors contains four blades and they are powered by four separate motors. The all-electric tail rotor reduces noise pollution, carbon emissions, operating costs and, since the fans stop rotating as soon as the helicopter touches the ground, reduces injury risk—an advancement for on-the-ground safety.
It has been installed on Bell 429 demonstrator aircraft at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada and began flight testing in May 2019. Since then, the aircraft has completed more than 50 flight hours and is gradually expanding its flight envelope.
In 2018, a heroic team of divers, first responders and military personnel rescued the 12 players of the Wild Boar soccer team and their coach from Tham Luang cave complex in Thailand. The Royal Thai Police (RTP) also participated in the “Thailand Mission Impossible” and used their Bell 429 helicopters to transport the young athletes to hospitals.
The RTP currently operates 10 Bell 429 aircraft. Instructor pilots from the Bell Training Academy provided more than 880 hours to train RTP pilots in Bangkok, ensuring the force is ready for any mission.
In 2019, as bush fires devastated Australia in eastern Queensland and northeast New South Wales, destroying many homes and forcing thousands of people to evacuate, commercial helicopter operator Sydney Helicopters flew its Bell 412 twin-engine helicopter to assist in combating the fires. Sydney Helicopters commenced its operations with the Bell 412 in December 2018 and has flown it over 370 hours.
The Bell 412 worked tirelessly to extinguish the fires. The 412 is designed to work in some of the most extreme environments and for a variety of tactical and response missions. It has the reputation of reliability and is most commonly used for medical emergency services, search and rescue, law enforcement, corporate transport and at offshore oil fields. This aircraft is popular in the para-public sector, with governments in Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Australia and the United States incorporating the aircraft into their operations.