Bell Helicopter and China's Guanchen Aviation have signed a memorandum of understanding to open the country's first Bell authorised flight training school.

"Bell Helicopter is committed to growing our customer support and services in China," said Eric Cardinali, executive vice-president, customer support and services for Bell, in a statement.

"Partnering with Guanchen Aviation to provide a high-quality, local flight training solution is an important first step in meeting our customer needs in the region," he added.

The school will be located in the city of Anyang in China's eastern Henan province. Following an internal training cycle, the school will provide initial and recurrent type training for the Bell 206L and Bell 407.

More types could be added to the school's curriculum in the future, says Bell.

Separately, the US helicopter maker said India has approved an increased maximum gross weight of 3,400kg (7,500lbs) for the Bell 429, up by 227kg from the previous weight. It says India is the 10th country to certify this increase.

Source: Flight International