February 22, 2008
Bell Provides 429 Program Update
HAI, Houston, Texas ( Bell Helicopter Press Release ) -
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, provided a 429 program update today confirming the performance of its new helicopter and the status of its flight test program.
Neil Marshall, Bell's 429 program director said, "The 429 has shown outstanding performance during the flight test program. We currently have three 429 aircraft flying, which have accumulated over 600 flight test hours and each has accomplished all of our goals during the initial phase of testing."
The external configuration was frozen in October 2007 and full configuration freeze including software is expected this summer. Aircraft #3, which reflects the closest to final configuration, recently joined the flight test program. This aircraft will be on display at this year's Heli-Expo held in Houston, Texas, February 24-26th.
Officials at Bell have confirmed that the 429 helicopter has either met or exceeded all the performance parameters established when the initial design was begun. These parameters, based on input from customer groups, have guided Bell engineers as they set out to create a flexible, stable aircraft that will have the cabin size and performance characteristics of an intermediate twin -- at the price of a light twin.
This clean sheet design approach, coupled with Bell's unique Modular Affordable Product Line (MAPL) technologies, has allowed Bell to rethink many of the concepts related to previous helicopters and achieve significant breakthroughs in safety and projected direct operating costs (DOC), while maintaining Bell's renowned dependability and ruggedness.
Market response has been very strong with over 260 orders from approximately 30 different countries and representing Bell's focus market segments of Law Enforcement (LE), Emergency Medical (EMS) and off-shore have been booked.
Certification of the 429 is targeted for late this year.
Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
Textron Inc. is a $13.2 billion multi-industry company operating in 34 countries with approximately 44,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company , Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation.
news: Second Bell 429 Joins Flight Test Program Aug 28, 2007
news: Bell 429 at Paris Air Show Update Jun 18, 2007
news: Bell 429 Helicopter Continuing Paces of Flight Test Program Mar 29, 2007
news: Bell Flies 429 New Rotor System for the First Time Feb 28, 2006