July 6, 2009
Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) has certified Bell’s newest light twin helicopter, the 429. Bell has also completed the FAA’s certification requirements.
Bell said that multiple customer advisory boards were established and consulted throughout the 429’s design and manufacturing phases to gather input on what they want in a light twin engine helicopter. The result is a helicopter that meets or exceeds every critical design element identified by the customer boards.
Bob Fitzpatrick, Bell’s senior vice president of business development and commercial programs, said that the 429’s design “makes it adaptable for different market segments. Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D1 engines, the 429 has a phenomenally smooth ride and a power-to-weight ratio greater than 20 percent—better than any helicopter in its class.”
Priced at approximately $4.9 million, the Bell 429 already has 300 potential buyers who have signed letters of intent to purchase it. Over the coming months, Bell will be working with its customers to convert these letters of intent into firm binding orders. First deliveries are scheduled to begin this month.
In keeping with its reputation as a premier provider of customer support and service, the company has developed pilot and maintenance training courses for the 429 to ensure its smooth introduction into the operating community.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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