Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), will display the Bell 429WLG for the first time at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) 2013 conference, held this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 22 to 24. The aircraft is an upgrade to the Bell 429 and features wheeled landing gear in place of traditional skids. The aircraft can be seen at Booth C9343 at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Exhibit Hall during the show.
“Offering a wheeled landing gear option for the Bell 429 builds on our ongoing efforts to innovate our current products as we introduce new ones,” said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. “We have listened to several customers who have needed the maneuverability of this option for their missions and are excited to display our first ship at NBAA 2013.”
The Bell 429WLG can land in a larger number of environments and conditions, providing operators of all mission profiles additional flexibility. Its taxiing capability is ideal for both repositioning in limited spaces and situations that require ground taxi, such as positioning closer to fixed-base operators. These benefits mean that both flight crews and passengers can save time and effort getting where they need to go. The Bell 429WLG also has reduced drag due to the loss of skids and an increased cruise speed.
In addition to the display, Bell Helicopter also announced that the first Bell 429WLG has been purchased by the Argentinean company Rio Iruya and will be used for corporate and VIP transport. The aircraft is expected to be delivered in the first half of next year.
“It is an honor to be the world’s first operator of the Bell 429 with Wheeled Landing Gear and renew my loyalty to the brand that began my passion for helicopters,” said Sebastian Eskenazi, president and CEO of Rio Iruya. “The development of the wheeled landing gear will benefit me tremendously while maneuvering through the airports of my city, Buenos Aires, where in many cases helicopters and airplanes share the same landing platform.”
The Bell 429 is one of the most advanced light twin helicopters ever developed, delivering exceptional speed, range and hover performance, as well as comfort and cost management unmatched by any other aircraft in its category. The Bell 429 offers exceptional flight performance with a fully-integrated glass cockpit, advanced drive system and best-in-class WAAS navigation and IFR capability. Additional safety features include a collective mounted throttle, damage tolerant hub and rotor system, and energy attenuating seats. The Bell 429 is the first helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process, resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators.
NBAA 2013 is one of largest business aviation events of the year and the sixth largest tradeshow in the United States. More than 25,000 operators and industry leaders are expected to attend. For more information, visit www.nbaa.org/2013.
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