FAA and Transport Canada certification of Bell’s new 429 light twin could come as early as this month.
Bell expects EASA certification shortly thereafter and Japanese certification by year-end. The order book for the $4.865 million (2007) helicopter remains at approximately 300 aircraft, and deliveries will begin around the third quarter of this year. Sixty percent of orders are from customers outside North America.
Initially the 429 will be offered on skids in four versions: medevac, utility/offshore, law enforcement and executive. Optional retractable wheel landing gear will be offered later. Bell does not expect to achieve full-rate production on the 429 until 2012. The manufacturer reported the following performance and specification numbers last month: