Where are the interior dimensions and layout config diagrams....
In fairness to Bell it took me 6 months to get cabin volume for the Grand out of AgustaWestland ...... thats another story!
I am quite willing to accept that Bell are treating that back- end like an afterthought ... but I believe that was a mighty mistake.
I got two lots of customers in camera each apparently 'mouths open and pointing at the tail rotor set-up' and in all fairness they are for publication later, not on PPRuNe. I also overheard a Bell rep dismissing one of these customers along the lines of 'high skids will solve that' ...... just how high?
Eurobolkow, not wishing to go off thread too much, the figures manufacturers choose to supply can inevitably lead to a lack of information and often treating like with like can be difficult on the numbers freely supplied - such was the case with the Grand last year.
The same applies with actually getting bums on seats, you can have all the numbers you like [including that elusive cabin volume] but it is only when you sit down with a crick in your neck that you may be able to highlight that a given type is best avoided by 6 footers..... and that affects an awful lot of airframes.
In this case, as the 429 was 'just a mock-up' it may have been wiser if Bell had followed Agusta's lead and deleted the tail for the launch.
Textron's Bell Helicopter Unveils New Aircraft and Books Strong Orders at Heli-Expo
-- Further reinforcing its leadership in the global aviation marketplace, Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) businesses have generated strong customer orders and significant interest in products and technologies unveiled and/or featured at the annual Heli-Expo conference and trade show, held earlier this week in Anaheim, CA.
During the show, Bell Helicopter introduced the newest entry to its leading lineup of commercial helicopters: the Bell 429 GlobalRanger Light Twin. Incorporating a variety of "first-ever" technologies from Bell's Modular Affordable Product Line (MAPL) -- including unprecedented cabin and cockpit features and new high performance rotor technology -- the Bell 429 represents a significant advancement for the light twin segment and will offer customers a wide range of affordable options. With orders taken at the show, there are currently 110 orders for the new aircraft. First deliveries are anticipated during the first half of 2007.
Including the strong sales of its new Bell 429 GlobalRanger and popular 407, 412, and 210 models, Bell Helicopter booked 34 total orders across its commercial helicopter line.
"Textron companies had a great showing at this year's event," said Lewis B. Campbell, Textron's Chairman, President and CEO. "And it's no surprise that Bell's new product news - once again - led the show. The new Bell 429 is the latest in a series of significant milestones for Bell, and - more importantly - for our customers, whose input was instrumental in the design of this aircraft. It's this customer focus and commitment, combined with a true passion for innovation, that make Textron's aviation and aircraft-related employees the best in the businesses."
Other Textron highlights from this week's event include:
-- Bell Helicopter announced that it has reached multi-national agreements with Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. (KAI) and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace Company, Ltd. for a collaboration to develop, certify, produce and market the new Bell 429 light twin helicopter for the world market. This agreement further enables Bell to bring the advanced, affordable new 429 GlobalRanger light twin helicopter to market globally.
-- Bell reported that the relocation of its Customer Training Academy and Customer Support and Service Centers to new state-of-the-art facilities at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, TX, is complete. In addition to a world-class Customer Logistics Center, the facilities include an unprecedented new Customer Training Academy, featuring more than 41,000 square feet of hangar space dedicated entirely to critical hands-on maintenance training and a newly designed helicopter-training airport.
-- Bell unveiled a program to integrate the Honeywell HTS900 engine into the Bell 407 commercial product line, replacing the current Rolls Royce 250-C47B engine. This move is expected to yield a 15 percent improvement in installed power that will significantly enhance the performance capability -- and reliability -- of the aircraft. The HTS900 integration program is expected to be complete in late 2006.
-- Bell announced that Rotorcraft Leasing Company, LLC, has extended its growing fleet of Bell helicopters to a total of 44 aircraft - through a major fleet expansion program that includes a recent purchase contract for six new Bell Model 206L-4 LongRangers. With the third largest helicopter fleet operating in the Gulf of Mexico, Rotorcraft Leasing, headquartered in Broussard, LA, is a major offshore helicopter operator, servicing offshore production and exploration facilities in the Gulf region.
-- Bell reported that ChevronTexaco has ordered a third Bell 427 light twin helicopter for its offshore fleet. ChevronTexaco currently operates a fleet of 30 helicopters; 21 of which are Bell aircraft, including Bell 430s, 206L's and 206B's in addition to the 427 models. Bell also announced that full-service helicopter maintenance firm, Arrow Aviation Company, LLC, has taken delivery of a new Bell 206L-4 aircraft. Arrow Aviation provides helicopter maintenance and completion services to the commercial, offshore, corporate, emergency medical and private aviation markets - and owns a fleet of 11 Bell 206B Series JetRangers and 206L Series LongRangers, which are utilized on long-term leases throughout the United States.
-- Lycoming Engines generated strong customer interest and attention at Heli-Expo as it featured a variety of piston aircraft engines from across its market-leading product line. Lycoming piston engines power more than half of the world's general aviation fleet - both rotary-wing and fixed-wing.
-- HR Textron, an operating unit of Textron Systems, showcased its broad line of primary and secondary flight control actuation products, generating significant interest from a variety of current and potential customers.
"-- Bell announced that Rotorcraft Leasing Company, LLC, has extended its growing fleet of Bell helicopters to a total of 44 aircraft - through a major fleet expansion program that includes a recent purchase contract for six new Bell Model 206L-4 LongRangers. With the third largest helicopter fleet operating in the Gulf of Mexico, Rotorcraft Leasing, headquartered in Broussard, LA, is a major offshore helicopter operator, servicing offshore production and exploration facilities in the Gulf region. "
The fact that Rotorcraft Leasing has lost several helicopters this year....it means more like keeping up with attrition rather than an overall fleet growth as I see it.
139, 429. Is there a significance in the number 9 as being the in thing at the moment. Numbers have taken over from names and 9 seems to be relevant. Is it because it will be built in China and this number is a lucky one! Built in China will make for competitive pricing.
Nice looking ship and is one to assume that it will look like this in production form.
I think we are all happy to see dear old Bell stepping out from the shaddows, arn't we?
It is probably much too early to expect anything yet. It was only launched a matter of months ago.
In the background the eastern partners [Korea] do not seem to be able to decide whether they are going to sell it themselves yet... they did not do to well with the 427 so are apparently considering offloading sales to another company ... so significant progress in other aspects will also take a while.
The Bell 427 is back in production, trying to keep up with the demand. Yes there is quite a bit of demand. Aircraft has proven to be very reliable and adequate for low altitude work (read offshore support). Ride is extremely smooth, some have said smoother than the Bell 430.
First flight of a 429 rotor on a 427 was shown almost live at HAI on Monday. Took place earlier that morning. Was done up north with the snow and all. Story is that after one week, flights are going much better than expected