Bell 429 Helicopter Continuing Paces of Flight Test Program

3/29/2007 - Mirabel, Canada -- Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, confirmed today that its 429 model continues to perform well as it advances through its flight test paces.

According to the flight test pilots, to date, the performance of the 429 has been "very stable and predictable, "and is exactly what you want as you continue to expand the test envelope. Production rotor blades have replaced the prototype blades that flew on the first flight, and ground runs were completed last weekend with the new blades. The data accumulated has been positive, and a program spokesman has indicated that these initial flights were the best for a new helicopter in Bell's history.

In addition to the production rotor blades, new software has also been loaded into the helicopter. Like all modern helicopter programs, software is a major component of development and testing. This version of the software affects the cockpit displays and is more representative of the production aircraft. All indications are positive and the pilots have said that "the handling was well balanced, and the aircraft was a pleasure to fly."

The Bell 429 was designed to be a versatile helicopter suitable for a variety of missions and offers best-in-class cabin volume. Produced under the Modular Assembly Production Line (MAPL) concept it incorporates 10 MAPL technologies, including the rotor system.

Source: Bell Helicopter Press Release

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