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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Bell 429 Gets Certified

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It’s official — the Bell 429 light twin helicopter has received certification from Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA). With the FAA having also granted its certification, the floodgates are open and Bell is scheduled to begin delivering 429s to its North American clients. According to the Fort Worth, Texas-based company, more than 300 letters of intent to purchase 429s have been received to date.

The Bell 429 has room for up to eight people and is equipped with a full glass cockpit. Capable of a maximum cruise speed of 142 knots and a maximum range of 350 nm, the 429 can carry up to 2,700 lbs. It is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D1 engines. Safety features include a composite hub and rotor system, FADEC and an Integrated Instrument Display System (IIDS) to reduce in-flight demands on pilot attention.

"This is an outstanding helicopter and one that is really resonating with our customers," says Dick Millman, president and CEO of Bell. "I am extremely proud of the Bell team for the work they have done to create the 429."

The Bell 429 is aimed at the corporate, EMS, law enforcement and utility markets. Time will tell if it can unseat Eurocopter’s popular EC-135, which currently dominates the EMS market.

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