What was Wrong with the 427i?

 - October 16, 2006, 9:13 AM

Every customer who signed up for the 427 IFR model has swallowed the premium associated with upgrading to the bigger 429. But why did Bell ditch the 427i?

Bill Stromberg, Bell’s executive director for commercial programs, said it was a response to customer reaction. “We have a (liaison) process that, among other things, helps us design new products. Initial team inputs were incorporated into the design of the 427i, in particular calls to expand its cabin. As we developed the design, it became clear to everyone that just modifying it would not provide the space, features and comfort required to fulfill their expectations.

“At the same time, teams were exploring ways to accelerate the availability of the MAPL product line. Last September we decided to develop a totally new cabin for the 429 as a MAPL technology.”

And it turns out the 427 still lives, at least for now. “Demand for the 427 VFR is excellent,” claimed Stromberg. “It is a reliable, low-cost light twin and we expect to continue selling it for many years.