The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is changing its voluntary operational evaluations to mandatory operational suitability (OS) approvals for new aircraft designs. This appears as an extension of type certification, at additional cost to manufacturers. The new rule will take effect in 2012.
Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas, delivered the first Bell 429 customer aircraft to launch customer Air Methods on August 1, after which S/N 57006 flew south from Bell’s assembly facility in Mirabel, Quebec, to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa.
Following Transport Canada certification and FAA validation of the Bell 429 in July, Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas, delivered the first aircraft, S/N 57006, to launch customer Air Methods on August 1. The current Bell 429 fleet (two prototypes, three flight test and two customer aircraft) has accumulated more than 2,200 hours.
Bell Helicopter received Transport Canada certification for its long-awaited new light twin, the 429, last month. The company also announced that it had completed FAA certification requirements. Deliveries of the twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207DI-powered, $4.865 million (2007 $) helicopter were scheduled to begin last month.
Bell Helicopter on July 1 announced that it received FAA and Transport Canada certification for its long awaited Bell 429 light twin. Deliveries of the twin Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207DI-powered, $4.865 million (2007 dollars) helicopter are scheduled to begin later this month. Bell holds more than 300 customer purchase letters of intent for the 429 and is in the process of converting them to firm orders.
By the time you read this, it is likely that Bell Helicopter will have received Transport Canada type certification for its twin-turbine Bell 429 light helicopter. Though not quite as likely, the FAA might also have validated Transport Canada’s TC, since the U.S. agency has been following the process closely.
Bell Helicopter Textron of Fort Worth, Texas, expects Transport Canada to issue the type certificate for the company’s twin-turbine Bell 429 light helicopter by the end of this month. Approval from U.S. and European authorities should follow just a few weeks after that.
Bell Helicopter has announced plans to reduce the environmental footprint of its products through the new Eco-Innovation initiative that will evaluate them throughout every stage of their lifecycle. The process will start with an assessment of the environmental impact of mining the raw materials used to manufacture the aircraft right through to the end of their service life.
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.
Bell Helicopter anticipates receiving Transport Canada type certification for the 429 twin-turbine light helicopter by the end of June, followed swiftly by FAA validation and, a few weeks farther out, EASA approval. Company officials told AIN that all component testing and flight testing is complete, with just software approval remaining for Canadian certification.