The Bell 429 Makes Successful Flying Debut at Recent Heli-Expo
Bell Helicopter provided a summary of the customer demonstration flights held during the Heli-Expo convention that ended Tuesday, February 24th.
The Bell 429 demonstrator flew 220 customers on 35 flights during the show, accumulating 16 flight hours with 100 percent reliability. Over the course of three days, customers representing Emergency Medical (EMS), offshore, corporate/utility and foreign military from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East all flew in the helicopter.
Customer comments were universally positive regarding the power of the helicopter, its great climb rate, and the exceptional visibility and roominess of the cabin. Several of the pilots commented that the controls had a very nice feel to them and the aircraft had excellent stability.
Bob Fitzpatrick, sr. vice president of Business Development and Commercial Programs stated, "The 429 is proving to be all we said it would be and we are as anxious to start delivering this outstanding aircraft to our customers as they are to put it into service."
Bell saw strong interest during the show in the use of the 429 for offshore oil and gas missions in Africa and EMS missions in China, showing the capability of this helicopter to expand into previously untapped markets.
Certification is expected around the middle of this year, with customer deliveries beginning by the end of the year.
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