The Bell 429, a new light twin helicopter derived from the Bell 427i, will be dramatically unveiled at an 11:30 a.m. press event today at Bell Helicopter’s booth, No. 1087 in Hall D. Bell announced the 427i, an IFR-capable version of the 427, less than one year ago at Heli-Expo 2004.
Bell’s 429 IFR light twin caused quite a stir at its February 2005 launch during the Helicopter Association International show in Anaheim, California. Not only did it replace a machine with a shelf-life of only 11 months–the 427 IFR–but it embodied many features of what the manufacturer has hailed as a new approach to rotorcraft design.
Under a memorandum of agreement (MoA) between Bell Helicopter and Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) signed yesterday, the latter is to begin production of airframes for the Bell 429 light twin IFR helicopter. With an estimated value of more than $150 million, the agreement is projected to cover all Bell 429 airframes for the next 10 years.
The Minnesota State Police took delivery of a new Bell 407 at a Heli-Expo ceremony on Sunday. Shown here, Captain Mary Schrader, chief pilot and captain of the flight section, accepts the keys to the aircraft from Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh. The Minnesota State Police department has flown Bell helicopters for nearly 50 years, starting with a Bell 47, and has never had a catastrophic failure, according to chief of police Mark Dunaski.
AgustaWestland A109S Grand
The order book for this uprated 109 variant currently stands at almost 60. AgustaWestland received EASA approval for the type in June (as its first customer, a Briton, took delivery) and FAA certification is expected by next month. The company planned to have delivered five airframes by press time and 10 more later this year.
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