Bell 429 helicopter certified by Canadian aviation agency

Certification follows U.S. FAA approval and clears the way for full-scale production and delivery of the composites-intenstive craft.

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (Ft. Worth, Texas) company, today announced the certification by Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) of its newest light, composites-intensive, twin-engine helicopter, the 429. Bell has also completed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification requirements. First deliveries are scheduled to begin this month.

"This is an outstanding helicopter and one that is really resonating with our customers," said Dick Millman, president and CEO of Bell. "I am extremely proud of the Bell team for the work they have done to create the 429 and I believe this is just the start of many great things we will see coming out of Bell Helicopter in the years to come."

"The 429 is the kind of product that will energize the marketplace," said Bob Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of Business Development and Commercial Programs. "Its design makes it adaptable for different market segments. Powered by two Pratt-Whitney Canada PW207D1 engines, the 429 has a phenomenally smooth ride and a power-to-weight ratio greater than 20 percent - better than any helicopter in its class."

As part of the 429's development, Bell established multiple customer advisory boards that were consulted throughout the design and manufacturing phase to gather input on what they want in a light twin-engine helicopter. The result is a helicopter that meets or exceeds every critical design element identified by the customer boards.

"We are delivering an aircraft that is absolutely on target for our customers," said Neil Marshall, Bell's 429 program director. "We felt it was critical to deliver on our promise and I'm proud to say we didn't compromise."

With 30 percent greater cabin volume than any other competitor in its class, Bell is confident that the 429 will be well received by the market. In fact, since Bell first announced the 429, more than 300 letters of intent have been received making the 429 the most anticipated new helicopter launched in recent history. Over the next several months Bell will be working with its customers to convert these letters of intent into firm binding orders.