October 22, 2013
By Alton K. Marsh
Bell Helicopter is displaying its previously announced 429WLG helicopter at the National Business Aviation Association convention in Las Vegas Oct. 22 through 24. It is billed as a helicopter designed entirely from the standpoint of customer requests.
The 429WLG features electrically operated landing gear with braking capability. It is promised to cruise at 152 knots true airspeed and have a 412-nautical-mile range.
The 429WLG has a glass cockpit with the capability to have two and even three multifunction displays, a dual digital three-axis autopilot, and an integrated electronic data recorder.
The cabin contains 204 square feet, and there are optional rear clam-shell doors. It is the first helicopter Bell has certified through a process called MSG-3, and what that means to the customer is reduced maintenance costs.
It is certified for single and dual pilot instrument operations with Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capabilities. A flat floor allows the helicopter to be converted quickly from passengers to cargo. Seats are easily removed. Safety-of-flight features include a collective-mounted throttle. It carries one pilot plus seven passengers. Its useful load is 2,772 pounds.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
Technically Advanced Aircraft
Despite a dramatic decline in 2014 helicopter deliveries, forecasters at Honeywell Aerospace project a steady stream of deliveries over the next five years.
Bell Helicopter has made the first delivery of the Bell 429WLG (wheeled landing gear) in North America.
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