Bell 429 test aircraft #2 during restrained
ground run, conducted in August 2007
Photo: Bell Helicopter
8/28/2007 - Fort Worth, TX -- Bell Helicopter, a
Textron Inc. company, today released photos of the
second 429 prototype on its maiden flight.
Bill Stromberg, executive director of the 429 program
stated, "The 429 development program continues to meet
or exceed all the requirements we put in front of it.
This second aircraft will allow us to increase the
pace of our test program as we progress towards our
first deliveries late next year. We completed safety
of flight testing and expansion of the flight envelope
about one month faster than anticipated and didn't
encounter unexpected design issues in this testing.
The two aircraft will depart in September for hot and
high testing in Colorado and Arizona and first flight
by pilots from the certification authorities."
"This is a strong program and a great helicopter that
clearly demonstrates Bell's commitment to the
commercial marketplace," added Bob Fitzpatrick, senior
vice president of business development.
Commenting on other outstanding program issues
Stromberg added, "We are rapidly closing in on a final
configuration and we are very confident that
performance and handling qualities will meet our
targets. The flight manual and maintenance manual are
over 50% complete and long lead spare parts are on
order to support initial deliveries to customers.
Preparation of customer training curriculum and a
flight training device are also progressing on
The 429, manufactured at Bell's production facility in
Mirabel, Quebec, has generated wide spread appeal in
the marketplace and current has an order backlog of
over 200 aircraft. The current development schedule
has the 429 achieving FAA and Canadian certification
simultaneously in 2008.
Source: Bell Helicopter Press Release