The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429, Bell Helicopter announced today at Airshow China 2012 in Zhuhai. This approval makes China the 12thcountry to endorse the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429 based on Transport Canada’s certification. Transport Canada approved operation of the Bell 429 at 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg) in January after an extensive technical evaluation.
The Bell 429 light-twin IFR helicopter serves the air medical, law enforcement, oil and gas, utility and corporate aviation segments. It is certified for single or dual pilot IFR, Category A/JAROPS performance Class 1 at maximum gross weight. The helicopter is one of the first certified through the MSG-3 process, resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators.
According to Bell, the increased gross weight configuration includes helicopter terrain awareness warning system (HTAWS), a radar altimeter, cockpit voice/flight data recorder and forward flashing lights. The increase in the maximum gross weight of the Bell 429 allows operators to carry more payload and/or fuel, expanding the capability of the aircraft in any mission requirement.
With China’s large and geographically diverse landscape, the extra fuel is appreciated. “The approval of the Bell 429 gross weight increase in China allows Bell Helicopter to better serve the multi-mission needs of our customers in China,” said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of commercial sales and marketing.