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Bell 429

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

Bell 429
High altitude tests performed at Lake County Airport
Role Multipurpose utility helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight February 27, 2007[1]
Status Active service
Developed from Bell 427

The Bell 429 is a light-twin helicopter under development and is based on the Bell 427. First flight of the prototype took place on February 27, 2007, and received type certification on July 1, 2009.


The impetus for developing the Bell 429 came primarily from the emergency medical services (EMS) industry, which has been looking for an updated helicopter. The Bell 427 was originally intended to address this market, but the 427's small cabin size would not adequately accommodate a patient litter, and the systems did not support instrument flight rules (IFR) certification. Bell's original concept for the 429 was a stretched model 427 (unveiled as the Bell 427s3i at the 2004 HAI helicopter show), but this still did not provide what Bell and its customer advisers were looking for.

Bell abandoned the 427 airframe and went to its MAPL (Modular Affordable Product Line) concept airframe that was still in conceptual development at the time. The 429 employs the all-new modular airframe concept and the advanced rotor blade design from the MAPL program, but maintains a derivative engine and rotor drive system from the 427. The basic model will include a glass cockpit and will be certified for single pilot IFR. Bell partnered with Korea Aerospace Industries and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace of Japan in the helicopter's development.

Bell 429 mock-up

Bell had flown most of the critical MAPL technology components using a 427 test bed aircraft by February 2006. The first completed 429 flew February 27, 2007. Certification was originally planned for late 2007, but program schedule delays, primarily caused by parts and material shortages common to all aviation manufacturers in this time period, caused the manufacturer to stretch the development timetable. The helicopter received type certification from Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) on July 1, 2009.

As of June 2009, the Bell 429 had received over 301 orders. The launch customer for the Bell 429 is Air Methods Corporation, the largest medevac provider in the United States.


  • Soft-in-plane flex beam 4-blade rotor system; composite rotor blades feature swept tips for reduced noise
  • Twin, "Stacked" two-bladed tailrotor design, set at uneven intervals for reduced noise
  • 200 ft³ (5.7 m³) cabin with flat floor for patient loading
  • Optional aft clamshell doors (under tail boom) for ease of patient loading
  • Single pilot IFR certified glass cockpit with 3-axis autopilot and flight director standard, 4-axis autopilot optional
  • Skid gear standard, retractable wheel landing gear optional

Specifications (Bell 429)

Data from Bell Helicopters 429 product specs, Flug Revue Bell 429 page

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 7 passengers
  • Length: 41 ft 8 in (12.7 m)
  • Rotor diameter: in (m)
  • Height: 13 ft 3 in (4.04 m)
  • Empty weight: 4,300 lb (1,950 kg)
  • Useful load: 2,700 lb (1,225 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,000 lb (3,175 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D1 turboshaft, 625 shp (466 kW);  710 shp (530 kW) takeoff power each


See also

Related development

External links

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

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