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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Roberts: 50 Bell 429s by Year-End

By Thierry Dubois

Bell Helicopter is planning to hand over the 50th copy of its newest light twin—the Bell 429—by the end of 2011. According to Larry Roberts, senior vice president for Commercial business, the model is “continuing to do very well.” At the Paris Air Show in late June, the company signed at least one firm order. “We have sold between 40 and 50 Bell 429s,” Roberts said. Delivery plans seem to have been downgraded as, in March, he was expecting to have delivered between 70 and 80 examples of the 429 by the end of 2011. Before certification in July 2009 and before the downturn hit the helicopter industry—particularly the light segment—Bell claimed to have sold over 300 Bell 429s. Deliveries to European customers will start this year, Roberts predicted in June.
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