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Bell 429

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  • Bell 429

    Bell Treads on 'Hallowed' Airbus Ground

    Bell Helicopter has cracked the French market for its Bell 429 helicopter, with INAER France signing a purchase agreement for the aircraft in Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) configuration. The company announced the contract on 14 July.

    Bell Helicopter will deliver the aircraft equipped with a fully customised EMS interior and advanced avionics. INAER France, an Avincis Group operator, will operate the helicopter in support of medical rescue missions in the West region of France.

    The Bell 429 EMS

    Martin Whittaker, director of fleet and engineering, Avincis, said: ‘Medical missions are very demanding and require modern aircraft and the highest standards of safety. The Bell 429’s advanced technology and performance will allow us to provide safe and rapid transport to those most in need of care.’

    Patrick Moulay, managing director for Europe, Bell Helicopter, added: ‘We are thrilled to introduce the Bell 429 to France with long-time customer INAER. The Bell 429 is the most modern light-twin helicopter available and as customers have realised the full capabilities of this amazing aircraft, our installed base in Europe has grown to more than 40 Bell 429s. It continues to gain popularity with HEMS and parapublic operators across the region.’

    INAER France, which provides aerial surveillance assistance and parapublic mission operations, will take delivery of the Bell 429 later in 2014.​

  • #2

    Bell Regains Loyalty of Swedish Police

    Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company, has announced a signed purchase agreement with the Swedish National Police for seven Bell 429 helicopters. The aircraft will be used for police operations including, surveillance, reconnaissance, maintaining public order, aerial photography, aid in rescue missions and police transportation. The Swedish National Police were the first and only helicopter police unit in Sweden when they began operating Bell 47G-2A in 1964 to complete their duties. In addition to the new Bell 429 fleet, the Swedish National Police currently have a Bell 206 Jet Ranger that serves as a flight trainer at the organization’s own flight school.

    A Bell 429 assigned to police operations

    “We are honored the Swedish National Police have chosen us to continue providing them with the aircraft their missions demand,” said Patrick Moulay, managing director in Europe. “We are thankful for the opportunity to help the Swedish National Police protect and serve their country.”

    The aircraft will be heavily customized in Bell Piney Flat facilities before their delivery to the Swedish National Police in 2015.​


    • #3
      Two EMS 429's Confirmed for Middle East

      Bell Helicopter announced today a signed purchase agreement for the first two Bell 429s configured for Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in the Middle East. The aircraft will be equipped with a fully customized EMS interior and state-of-the-art avionics. The aircraft will be delivered in 2015 and will support medical rescue missions throughout the region.

      “We are excited to bring the Bell 429 to the Middle East for HEMS operations,” said Steve Suttles, Bell Helicopter’s managing director for the Middle East and Africa. “In the past few years, EMS operators throughout the world have seen firsthand that the Bell 429 is the most modern light-twin helicopter available. In fact, of the nearly 200 Bell 429s operating worldwide, nearly 20 percent of them operate HEMS and parapublic missions. In recent years, a range of key global customers, including the Swedish National Police, New York Police Department, Turkish National Police, Air Zermatt and Wiltshire Air Ambulance, have all chosen the Bell 429 as the best solution for their mission needs. We expect to continue to see strong growth as more and more customers see firsthand the amazing capabilities of this machine in action.”​


      • #4
        Bell 429 with Bell Demonstration Pilot at Farnborough:


        Landing and shut down


        • #5
          Georgia State Patrol Sign-Up for 429

          Bell Helicopter has announced a purchase agreement with the Georgia State Patrol for a Bell 429 at the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) exposition today, in Phoenix, Arizona. The signing ceremony took place in front of the aircraft on display at the Bell Helicopter booth #209.

          “We are excited to add this great aircraft to our fleet,” said Sergeant Greg Mercier of the Georgia State Patrol. “We will rely on the Bell 429 for its power, speed and large, accessible cabins for our parapublic missions.”

          The Georgia State Patrol Aviation Division has operated Bell helicopters since the 1970s with a Bell 47. The unit supports public safety for the citizens of Georgia. Currently, the Georgia State Patrol has a fleet of six Bell 407s, one Bell 206, five Bell OH-58s and one Cessna 182 airplane, and a total of six field hangers located throughout Georgia. The aircraft will be used for a wide array of law enforcement missions, including surveillance, search and rescue and support of ground personnel.

          "This year, we are proud to showcase one of our airborne law enforcement customer’s new Bell 429 as well as have a signing ceremony on site,” said Anthony Moreland, Bell Helicopter's managing director of North America. “The Bell 429 fulfills Georgia State Patrol’s mission needs, and we continue to see a strong customer response throughout North America.”


          • #6
            NYPD Takes Delivery of First 429

            Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, has announced the delivery of the first Bell 429 helicopter to the New York Police Department (NYPD.) The aircraft will be one of four new Bell 429s that will be used for airborne law enforcement patrol on behalf of the citizens of New York City and surrounding jurisdictions.

            The aircraft was delivered in mid-July and the milestone was celebrated by representatives from the NYPD and Bell Helicopter on July 29 during a special delivery ceremony at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY. In addition, a Bell 407 was delivered in May 2014 to serve as a training aircraft for the fleet.

            Once the deliveries and trade-ins are complete, the new Bell 429s will operate alongside two Bell 412EPs for a variety of missions, ranging from search and rescue at sea to gathering intelligence and combating terrorism. Delivery of the NYPD’s remaining Bell 429 aircraft is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

            “We are extremely happy with our choice of the Bell 429 twin-engine light helicopter,” said Deputy Inspector James Coan, commanding officer of the NYPD Aviation Unit. “Thanks to the partnership between Bell Helicopter and Helinet Technologies, this aircraft provides us with perhaps the most advanced law enforcement sensor suite available at this time.”

            Bell Helicopter has been a part of the NYPD since 1948 when it delivered a Bell 47, the first Bell helicopter to be used as part of an airborne law enforcement team. Since then, Bell Helicopter has provided innovative product solutions and world-class customer support and service to maintain its valued, long-standing relationship with the NYPD. In total, there are more than 450 Bell helicopters serving in a law enforcement/parapublic role in the United States.

            “Since we introduced the Bell 429, we have seen the global law enforcement community embrace the unique capabilities of this aircraft for their missions,” said Anthony Moreland, managing director of North American sales at Bell Helicopter. “We look forward to completing our final deliveries in the coming months and then seeing how the NYPD will use these helicopters to best serve the people of New York City.”

            The Bell 429 delivers exceptional speed, range, hover performance and enhanced safety margins with a fully-integrated glass cockpit, advanced drive system and best-in-class WAAS navigation and IFR capability. The Bell 429 has more cabin space than any other light twin helicopter, with flat flooring and seating for seven passengers and one flight crew. Wide 60 inch side doors and optional rear clam-shell doors provide quick and easy access for flight officers when every second counts.


            • #7
              Héli-Alpes B429 arriving at Sion:


              • #8
                Bell Loses FAA Appeal for 429 Weight Increase

                Bell Canada’s bid to have the US Federal Aviation Administration reconsider a 2012 decision that rejected a 500-pound weight increase for the Bell 429 has been denied. In a decision from deputy administrator Michael Whitaker dated Oct. 17, the FAA determined that “the case presented [for] reconsideration does not warrant a change to the original conclusions.” The decision goes on to state “there was no new information to consider beyond that provided in the original petition.”

                In January 2012, Bell Canada sought an exemption from section 27.1 (a) of the Code of Federal Regulations that would have raised the maximum gross weight for the 429 from 7,000 to 7,500 pounds. The U.S. petition was submitted after Canada — and a number of other countries around the world — had already approved the 500-pound increase. According to Bell, in addition to Canada, the weight increase has been approved in 18 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel and Mexico.

                Bell has lost its appeal to the FAA for a revocation of their 2012 decision not to award a 500lb weight increase

                The FAA issued a denial in August 2012, and Bell Canada submitted an appeal in October 2012. In December 2012, the FAA received 57 comments from various parties including manufacturers, emergency medical service (EMS) operators, law enforcement agencies, helicopter maintenance facilities, government officials and others looking to purchase or operate a Bell 429.

                In its decision to reject the petition a second time, the FAA fired back at a number of questions raised during the appeals process, including that the decision was political in nature based on U.S. manufacturers taking priority over manufacturers based outside the country. The FAA said it disagrees with this assertion.

                Other comments in support of the petition were very general “without providing any additional information or quantifiable data not already addressed in the original denial decision,” the response notes.

                The original 2012 denial “noted that the exemption sought by Bell Canada would place the Bell 429 at a competitive advantage,” the agency responds. “The point illustrated the unfair consequence that would result, which essentially amounted to a request to deviate from the applicability sections in parts 27 and 29.”

                Some commenters said that certification of the Bell 429 under part 29 would either be economically unfeasible or would result in an increased cost to Bell Canada’s customers. “The FAA’s exemption process addressed whether a petitioner has met the agency’s standards, not the costs involved,” the denial states in response. “If Bell were to pursue certifying the 429 to part 29, which it has not to this point, the costs and benefits of stepping up to part 29 standards would be a business decision for Bell and its current 429 customers.”

                The agency also asserted that the 2012 denial was consistent with past exemption requests, adding that Bell did not demonstrate how the weight increase would improve safety or benefit the public at large.

                The manufacturer’s claim that the 429 meets “almost all” of the current part 29 requirements, the FAA notes, “gives even more weight to the position that [Bell Canada] could have, and should have, (as Eurocopter [Airbus Helicopters] did), sought certification of the Bell 429 under part 29 and requested exemptions for those part 29 requirements the aircraft could not meet.” While the FAA said it understands that certification under part 29 is a more involved process, the agency said it appears Bell Canada “wishes to be granted the same regulatory relief as Eurocopter and other manufacturers who pursued the more burdensome path, without taking that path itself.”

                Bell Helicopter released the following statement in response to the ruling:

                "The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to deny our request to certify the Bell 429 at 7,500 pounds in the United States is disappointing. While we appreciate the time the FAA took to review our petition and the new information we brought forward, we believe the decision does not reflect the capabilities of the aircraft nor the positive contribution to public safety of the Bell 429 with an additional 500 lbs. 18 countries have validated the 429 at 7,500 pounds based on Transport Canada’s extensive technical evaluation and we will continue pursuing additional exemptions globally.

                "Nonetheless, customer demand for the Bell 429 is growing worldwide in its current 7,000-pound configuration and we expect this trend to continue. The Bell 429 installed base has doubled since 2012 and has grown to include more than 30 countries. For example, our installed Bell 429 fleet in Europe has grown from two aircraft to nearly 50 in the last two years. Our business plan is based upon the remarkable customer response to the Bell 429 as certified, not the incremental benefit of the increased gross weight.

                "Bell Helicopter remains committed to discussions with the FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, and the rotorcraft community about the modernization of rotorcraft regulations. We believe a fresh approach is necessary to more efficiently introduce newer technologies that can improve safety throughout the rotorcraft industry."


                • #9
                  Bell Update:


                  • #10
                    A Walk-through Halo Flight's 429: