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
Source: Bell Helicopter Press Release