Thai authorities approve Bell 429 weight increase
Aug. 9, 2012, Thailand - Thailand has become the 13th country to approve the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429, based on Transport Canada's certification.
By Carey Fredericks
Transport Canada approved operation of the Bell 429 at 7,500 pounds – a 500-pound increase – after an extensive technical evaluation in January 2012. Bell Helicopter said the increased gross weight of the 429 was driven by customer requirements for an increased load, which dramatically improves the 429’s capabilities.
"The approval of the 429 gross weight increase in Thailand allows Bell Helicopter to better serve the multi-mission needs of our customers in the Asian market," said Danny Maldonado, Bell's executive vice president of commercial sales and marketing. “We have strong ties in this region – the Royal Thai Armed Forces, Ministry of Natural Resources, Royal Thai Police, Royal Thai Survey Department, and Electricity Generation Authority operate a variety of Bell helicopters including the 206L, 212, 407 and 412.”
The 429 is an advanced light twin IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) helicopter capable of serving a wide variety of missions, delivering exceptional speed, range and hover performance. It is certified for single or dual pilot IFR, Cat. A / JAROPS Performance Class 1 at maximum gross weight; has a state-of-the-art fully-integrated glass cockpit; and is the first helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process.
The increased gross weight now permits operators to equip the Bell 429 with additional options including Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS), a radar altimeter, cockpit voice/flight data recorder and strobe lights.