Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today that Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC) has validated the Bell 429 for operations in Chile. Additionally, DGAC has endorsed the operation of the Bell 429 at 3402 kg (7,500 lbs.). This approval, based on Transport Canada’s certification, makes Chile the fourteenth country to increase the maximum gross weight for the Bell 429 from 3175 kg (7,000 lbs.). The additional 227 kg (500 lbs.) of fuel and/or payload allows operators to take advantage of the aircraft’s full capabilities.
“Chile’s validation of the Bell 429 and endorsement of the gross weight increase enable Bell Helicopter to better serve the multi-mission needs of our customers in Chile,” said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “We are pleased to be able to meet the growing demand for reliable commercial rotorcraft in Chile as the country’s strong economy continues to expand.”
Transport Canada approved operation of the Bell 429 at 3402 kg (7,500 lbs.) in December 2011 after conducting an extensive technical evaluation. The increased gross weight of the Bell 429 allows customers to perform longer and heavier missions, taking full advantage of the aircraft’s capabilities. To date, the Bell 429 increased gross weight has been approved by Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam.
“The performance boost of the increased gross weight will allow our customers to fully utilize the capabilities of the Bell 429 to carry more fuel and vital equipment in their various missions across Chile’s diverse terrain from the coastal mountains across the central valley to the rugged Andes in the east,” said Maldonado.
The Bell 429 is one of the most advanced light twin helicopters ever developed. It delivers exceptional speed, range and hover performance, and offers operators a state-of-the-art single pilot IFR helicopter with top user-rated in-service support. The powerful and reliable Bell 429 serves the full spectrum of segments including air medical, law enforcement, oil & gas, utility, and corporate. The Bell 429 sets the standard for light twins, delivering exceptional speed, range and hover performance.
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 resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators. The increased gross weight configuration includes Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS), a radar altimeter, cockpit voice/flight data recorder and forward flashing lights.
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