Nice to see you comparing the 429 to aircraft more than 30 years old and no doubt you would expect some improvement.
The 145 is only a progression of an old design and is still a BK117C2 and the end of the day.
The 427 was a duffer (2 engined 407 and not much else) and the 429 is not a progression of that aircraft as far as Type Certification goes.
The TC was issued in 2009 and we are talking about a clean sheet of paper here.
Looks like somebody has tried to play "wag the dog" and the dog ain't wagging.
After having operated a couple of models with PW200 engine and first seeing the 429 up close and then learning it was under Part 27 the first impression was either it was made of unobtainium or someone had a rubber calculator.
The other bit that I have difficulty understanding is that there is no room for growth of the aircraft under Part 27. Whats next - 8000 lbs? If they had started with it in Part 29 - no issue.
Bell seriously believed that they would 'get away with it'... they thought JAR 27 would would be remodelled around their slightly 'wrong' plans.
They did the same thing with the 427... the certification requirements stated among many other things that fuel would be in crashworthy tanks beneath the cabin so they built them into the bulkhead between the passenger cabin and the pilots....... the headrests were 4 US gallons or so.... and as we know the 427 bombed! They actually had EC and AW worried especially as they had a special deal with PWC on the new engines.... but overweight and unable to deliver the SPIFR [that they later delied was ever contemplated] etc it faded from view except for the gifts to African police ....
In many ways McDonnell Douglas had the same cavalier attitude to the European certification authorities in the mid 1990s.... ['We are Americans, what we do must be right or made to conform to our rules'] and they had a close squeak with the 900 that became the 902 to conform.
And now it looks like the FAA has sided with a [so far silent?] EASA.
They are the certification authorities, and they have finally grown a spine, sat up and said 'These are the rules, follow them or pay the consequences.....'
OR as 'Best of the West' seems to insist.... [see his post in January].... PANews...... Do you ever say anything nice about any helicopter or do you just bitch about them all.
....it seems that the FAA is doing as I tell them!!!!!!!!!!!!
Back in 2005 Bell had a mock-up on display at the CAMTS convention in Austin. We asked the Bell rep a ballpark figure for payload with a medical interior and 1.5 hrs of fuel and the confident reply was: "about 400lbs".
Also, to reply to Tcabot's: "Relative to bird strike the 429 is superior to the S-76 (PHI) where a single bird left a two pilot aircraft as nothing more than a lawn dart."
The S-76 involved in the GOM tragedy had STC plastic windshields and the investigation determined that they were a factor in the accident. So your quote is out of context.
Sterbcow characterized the Sikorsky report as particularly damning. “The Sikorsky report concluded two major things: That the sill canopy structure of the helicopter likely failed before the windshield did, which is significant. The second thing [Sikorsky] concluded is that it takes very little force on the canopy sill, where this bird hit the chopper, to move the engine control levers out of fly far enough that both engines suddenly and simultaneously fail. This [helicopter] has a unique throttle quadrant design; there is not another one like it. Their experts came up with that.”
Sterbcow said conclusions raised by his plaintiff’s experts are even more troubling. “Our experts agreed that the [windshield] sill failed before the windshield [did], but we ran more sophisticated and additional testing [on the throttle quadrant] and we are able to make this thing move out of fly with much less force than Sikorsky did.” This indicates that it is likely that even a smaller bird could do the same kind of damage to an S-76, according to Sterbcow.
Last edited by SansAnhedral; 23rd Aug 2012 at 15:15.
SAS, the clear point made was that the S76 is unique in that its throttle quadrant is unlike any other design and is especially vulnerable to birdstrike.
The post was a response to the reply indicating the plastic windshield installed by the operator was the issue, not the more vulnerable design of the ship relative to the 429 which does not have the same throttle configuration.
We all know your opinion of Bell (and apparently Tcabot113), but his point regarding the specific birdstrike vulnerability of the S76 was valid and even substantiated by SAC engineers internally.
Just what were the odds of that particular bird hitting that exact spot on that particular day, location, and instant?
Probably the same or less than the odds an S92 would spring a leak from the lube circuit prior to the oil cooler. "Extremely remote" comes to mind...yet certifications stand...
Last edited by SansAnhedral; 23rd Aug 2012 at 22:23.
That's interesting considering Air Zermatt is a Ec135 / As350 operator and be good to see how they operate in the Swiss Alps.
I know I put a thread somewhere on this a few years back post Farnborough 2008 about Bond interest in the 429 and I recall a comment made by someone on that thread saying no small coincidence that said EMs demo at Farnborough was painted in red as with the Bell reps told me that Peter Bond was to be entertained by them.
Many thanks for that info as haven't had time to look into the background. I thought the first European EMS customer was Alfa in Czech as they had selected it to replace the Bell 427 or at least supplement their 427 and 206LT fleet. Then they picked the EC135.
Off hand the weight issues with the 429 appeared so Air Methods only took delivery of 2 (for Des Moines) at Heli Expo 2010 rather than the 16 or so airframes?
Apart from TC and FAA and maybe Indian DGAC approving for extra weight on the airframe I don't think EASA (please correct me on this ) had any notifications for weight insides regarding the 429.
Considering the altitudes that Air Zermatt operate at could this set the precedent for more operators in Europe say OAMTC here in Austria or Knaus or Schider to potentially look at the 429?
Also what's happening with CALSTAR order for the 429 is that still going ahead with this in spite of they just ordered the 135 ?
Question of chopper2004 : "Also what's happening with CALSTAR order for the 429 is that still going ahead with this in spite of they just ordered the 135 ?"
Answer of CALSTAR (08/21/2012) : “We performed a very detailed review of our mission profile and our requirements so that we could begin the process of upgrading and standardizing our fleet,” explained Lynn Malmstrom, President and CEO of CALSTAR. “Once we evaluated all the aircraft, the EC135 was the best suited for our current and future mission needs.” (8 EC135 in order).