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Bell 429

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Bell 429
Bell 429 Mock-up
Type Multipurpose utility helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter Textron
Maiden flight February 27 2006[1]
Status Active service
Developed from Bell 427

The Bell 429 is a light-twin helicopter currently under development as a stretched derivative of the Bell 427. First flight of the prototype took place on February 27, 2007, and Bell is planning on certification by mid-2008.[2]


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, so the helicopter's sales were weak. Bell's original concept 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 advisors were looking for.

Bell abandoned the 427 airframe and went to the 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 is also partnering with Korea Aerospace Industries and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace of Japan in the helicopter's development. The launch customer for the Bell 429 is Air Methods Corporation, the largest medevac provider in the United States.

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, with certificate and first deliveries expected in 2008. Certification was originally hoped completed 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.[2]


  • 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 un-even intervals for reduced noise[2]
  • 200-cu-ft 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[3], Flug Revue Bell 429 page[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 7 passengers
  • Length: in (12.7 m)
  • Rotor diameter: in (m)
  • Height: in (4.04 m)
  • Disc area: ft² (m²)
  • Empty weight: 4,300 lb (1,950 kg)
  • Loaded weight: lb (kg)
  • Useful load: 2,700 lb (1,225 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7,000 lb (3,175 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D turboshaft, 625 shp (kW)710 shp takeoff power each



External links

Related content

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence

See also

de:Bell 429 hr:Bell 427/429