Bell 429 Gets Weight Increase

 - January 12, 2012, 3:25 PM

Bell Helicopter received Transport Canada approval today for a 500-pound increase for its Model 429, bringing the medium twin’s maximum takeoff weight to 7,500 pounds. The raised limit is an exemption to the Part 27 certification limit of 7,000 pounds and will enable the 429 to carry additional fuel reserves, increasing both range and loiter times, and enhance its IFR utility, the company said. According to Bell vice president Larry Roberts, this enhancement is especially useful for EMS and law-enforcement customers. The increased mtow can be retrofitted to the existing fleet through the installation of a minimal kit that will be available through Bell Helicopter and its customer support network. Bell said it will issue the necessary changes to the flight manual to correspond with the additional weight capacity. The company said it would immediately use the Transport Canada approval as the basis to seek Part 27 weight limit exemption approval from the FAA and EASA.