Textron Unit Providing Flight Control System

Farnborough Air Show » 2006
November 27, 2006, 11:20 AM

HR Textron (Hall 3 Stand A8) will develop and deliver the integrated flight control actuation system (FCAS) for the Bell 429 light-twin helicopter. Both HR Textron and Bell Helicopters (Fort Worth, Texas) are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Textron Inc., headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island.

The FCAS includes primary flight control main and tail rotor actuators; hydraulic pumps, hoses and tubes; integrated hydraulic manifold, incorporating control valves and reservoir; electromechanical trim (autopilot) and actuators; and mechanical control tubes, bell cranks and idlers. HR Textron will procure, assemble and test the system in addition to designing and manufacturing key components. FCAS requirements will be validated on a full-scale “iron bird” system integration rig at HR Textron’s facility in Santa Clara, California.

“We’ll deliver the system in kit form to the 429 assembly line point-of-use,” said HR
Textron’s Bell 429 program manager Rick Bartz. The logistics aspects of the program contribute effectively to Bell’s acceleration of the 429 production cycle, saving time and minimizing costs.”

Bell Helicopter introduced the 7,000-pound mtow Bell 429 at Heli-Expo 2005. Base price of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207-powered twin is $4 million. U.S. certification is planned for late 2007.

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