Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today Ecuador’s Director General of Civil Aviation and the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia have approved the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429 to 7,500 lbs. allowing for added safety and capability. The increase of 500 lbs. - to 7,500 lbs – is based on Transport Canada’s certification.
Ecuador and Malaysia join Australia, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines and Vietnam in recognizing the 429’s increased capabilities based on the due diligence performed by Transport Canada. In January 2012, after an extensive technical evaluation, Transport Canada approved operation of the 429 at 7,500 lbs.
“We are delighted to have the support and approval of Malaysia and Ecuador,” said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “With the additional weight capability the 429 provides greater safety and benefits to the communities it serves. This added capability doubles the 429’s footprint, and greatly increases its endurance and loiter times.”
“The larger payload allows for the installation of additional safety related equipment. With more range operators can take advantage of the 429’s IFR/WAAS capabilities. This allows for a greater safety margin by ensuring the capacity for necessary fuel reserves for operations in the IFR environment," Maldonado added.
The Bell Helicopter 429 is one of the most advanced light twin IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) helicopters ever developed. It is safe, reliable and powerful, and serves the full spectrum of segments (air medical, law enforcement, oil & gas, utility, corporate, etc). The 429 has set the standard for light twins, delivering exceptional speed, range, hover performance and enhanced safety margins.
The Bell 429 is certified for Single or Dual Pilot IFR, Cat. A / JAROPS Performance Class 1 at maximum gross weight; has a state of the art fully-integrated glass cockpit; an advanced drive system that delivers power and superb performance; best in class WAAS navigation & IFR capability; and is the first helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process. The increased gross weight now permits operators to equip the Bell 429 with additional options including Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS), a radar altimeter, cockpit voice/flight data recorder and strobe lights.
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