Texas real estate developer, aviation enthusiast, and pilot Ross Perot Jr. has donated one of his company’s helicopters, a Bell 407GX, to the Dallas Police Department. The Dallas Police formed its aviation unit in 1969 and for many years operated a pair of Bell 206 JetRanger IIIs.
“This generous gift from the Ross Perot Jr. Family and Hillwood Aviation will help improve public safety in the city of Dallas,” Police chief Eddie Garcia said. Perot made initial inquiries in 2020 regarding the police department’s need for another helicopter, which led to subsequent discussions with city officials and the donation of the helicopter.
Perot is a former U.S. Air Force F-4 fighter pilot and world-record-setting helicopter pilot. In 1982, Perot and Jay Coburn set the then-record for around-the-world helicopter flight in a Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II, making the 26,000-mile trip in 246.5 hours over the course of 29 days.
Perot’s Hillwood Development Corp. donated the land for the Fort Worth Alliance airport in the 1980s. Today, more than 525 companies and 61,000 employees are part of the Alliance complex that includes logistics hubs and high-tech facilities for Amazon, UPS, Santa Fe Railroad, and Facebook. Perot and Hillwood have strongly advocated for the development of advanced air mobility and eVTOL service in Texas.