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
"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 schedule.
The 429, manufactured at Bell's production facility in Mirabel, Quebec, has generated wide spread appeal in the marketplace and currently has an order backlog of over 200 aircraft. The current development schedule has the 429 achieving FAA and Canadian certification simultaneously in 2008.
Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.