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Bell 429

The Bell 429 Medical Evacuation and Aerial Observation helicopter is Bells first new commercial helicopter since the 407 light turbine single was introduced in 1996. With the interior space of a medium-class helicopter, but with direct operating costs of a light the 429 has seen demand from all market segments. Its maintenance program is the only one in the helicopter industry that is based on Maintenance Steering Group 3 (MSG-3) practices that are the foundation of the world airlines' unprecedented reliability. The 429 is the first rotorcraft to have its maintenance program approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency to these high standards.

In February 2009 Bell Helicopter gave a 429 program update that provided the most recent performance data accumulated during the on-going flight test program. The 429's maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (Vh) has improved from 142 to 150 knots with skid gear. Maximum range at Vh has increased from 312nm (578km) to 332nm (615km), Virc (long range cruise) range has increased from 350nm (648km) to 368nm (682km) and maximum endurance from 3.8 to 4 hours. The 429's HIGE has grown from 11,000 ft (3353 m) to 14,130 ft (4307 m) and HOGE from 9,300 ft (2835m) to 11,280 ft (3444 m). Standard specifications show the cabin volume has grown from 200 cu ft (5.7 kg) to 204 cu ft (5.8 Kg) while empty weight has increased by 60 lbs, reducing the useful load from 2700 lb to 2640 lb.

The Bell 429 helicopter is a twin-engine aircraft certified under 14 CPR part 27', Normal Category Rotorcraft. After a slow start, by early 2011 deliveries of Bell Helicopters light twin, the Model 429, were picking up. Following delays in development, the Bell 429 was certified in 2009, when the industry slid into a deep downturn. By 2009 the 429 currently had roughly 300 letters of intent, which will be converted to firm orders once the helicopter certifies. With over 60% of these orders coming from international customers, this helicopter was intended to re-establish Bell in the global marketplace. Bell delivered only one aircraft in 2009, but this increased to 20 in 2010 and the company expected to deliver another 50 in the year 2011.

The Bell 429 delivers 155kt speed with a state-of-the-art cockpit featuring single pilot IFR and WAAS precision approach capabilities. Its cabin is exceptionally spacious with seating for up to eight passengers and can be reconfigured for any number of different missions. The 429 also features extra-large 61in side doors opening to a 130f cabin compartment, or 204f when including the aft cabin area. In addition to offering outstanding product features, the 429 is backed by Bell's in-service support, voted #1 by our customers for seventeen years running. Even in harsh conditions, due to its strong engines, and efficient rotor system, the helicopter delivers a smoother and faster ride.

The Bell 429 rotorcraft employs electronic engine controls, commonly named Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) that are recognized to be more susceptible to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) than rotorcraft that have manual (non-electronic) controls. EMI may be the result of radiated or conducted interference. For this reason, modifications that add or change systems that have the potential for EMI, must either be qualified to a standard acceptable to the FAA or tested at the time of installation for interference to the FADEC. This type of testing must employ the particular FADEC diagnostic techniques and external diagnostic techniques. The test procedure must be approved.

Features

  • Glass cockpit with Bell's BasiX-Pro Integrated Avionics System featuring two/three multi-function displays, dual digital 3-axis autopilot and an integrated electronic data recorder for enhanced situational awareness and post flight analysis
  • Certified single and dual pilot IFR operations with WAAS capabilities enabling point-in-space approaches in as low as 250 ft. ceilings
  • Exceptional flight performance with 155kt (287kph) speed, over 400nm (754km) range, and HOGE over 11,000ft (3,438m) Spacious cabin with 204ft (5.78m) of usable volume, wide 60in. side doors, optional rear clam-shell doors and seating for 7 passengers and 1 crew
  • Safety of flight features including, a collective mounted throttles, damage tolerant hub and rotor system, energy attenuating seats and outstanding OEI performance
  • First helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators



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