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Bell 429

Old 2nd Feb 2010, 06:21
  #121 (permalink)  
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Why did bell develop the 429? what was wrong with the 427? looking on wikipedia it looks like the 427 has a higher usefull load. Imho the 427 looks quite a bit better too.
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Old 2nd Feb 2010, 14:42
  #122 (permalink)  
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What was wrong with the 427 compared to the 429?
Single hydraulic system, no stabilization or autopilot, not nearly as much room as the 429, lower Vne and cruise speed.
And I'm sure there are more reasons.
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Old 3rd Feb 2010, 10:15
  #123 (permalink)  
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If I am not mistaken the first AS355 ( E ) had single hydraulics Aerospatiale chose to upgrade rather than a complete new model ( although to add 200KG payload there must have been a lot of other stuff )$FILE/H11EU.pdf

The light twin has to be the hardest market out there as there are probably more choices available than in the SE catagory.

AW EC and MD have many years jump on Bell , it is going to be a long hard road for them I think.
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Old 14th Feb 2010, 10:50
  #124 (permalink)  
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427 Limitations

Spot on Shawn. I had a peripheral input, and aside from your observations, it would have been too expensive and heavy to incorporate all the discrete requirements for Cat A systems separation, never mind overcoming all the other limitations. What it HAS done, though, is to act as a proving ground for the 429's dynamics, and to highlight areas for improvement elsewhere; fuselage,cabin, eqpt config, maintenance access, system reliability etc. Pity they do not (yet) have a wheeled version available for the corporate market - A109E may have eaten their lunch on that one ~ vfr
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Old 15th Feb 2010, 16:54
  #125 (permalink)  
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The fact that Bell did the same thing the big jets do in terms of maintenance review prior to development is amazing. First time this was ever done for helicopters as far as anyone knows.
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Old 15th Feb 2010, 18:17
  #126 (permalink)  
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The fact that Bell did the same thing the big jets do in terms of maintenance review prior to development is amazing. First time this was ever done for helicopters as far as anyone knows.
Actually the first time the full MSG-3 process for establishing scheduled maintenance requirements to a vertical lift aircraft was adopted by a manufacturer (Bell) under FAA and TC approval was for the Bell Boeing 609 Tiltrotor (now known as BA609). Still underway though...

Last edited by 21stCentury; 15th Feb 2010 at 18:54.
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Old 19th Feb 2010, 23:10
  #127 (permalink)  
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rear doors...


Federal Aviation Administration

SAIB Number:

Issue Date:

Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Bell) Model 429 Helicopters with Clam Shell Doors


This Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) advises you, owners, operators, and modifiers of Bell Model 429 helicopters, that some models may have clam shell doors installed as access to the baggage area. These doors are approved for external baggage access ONLY and are NOT approved for occupant egress or emergency exits.


The Bell Model 429 helicopter was approved and type certificated by the Transport Canada Civil Aviation Authority (TCCA) on June 20, 2009 followed by FAA type certificate issued on June 30, 2009. The type design includes clam shell doors on the rear of the helicopter fuselage. These clam shell doors provide access to the baggage area from the outside only. These clam shell doors are not approved as emergency exits nor are they approved for occupant egress. The baggage area is approved as baggage area only and not as an occupied area.


We have received Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) applications for modification of the Bell 429 passenger configuration to an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) configuration that incorporates the baggage area and usage of the clam shell doors for loading and unloading occupants. In order to obtain approval for this modification, the STC applicant will be responsible for providing the appropriate data addressing the baggage area as an occupied area and appropriate data supporting usage of the clam shell doors for occupant egress. We recommend that STC applicants discuss this modification with their Aircraft Certification Office representative prior to formal submittal of the STC application in order to know the appropriate certification requirements and data needed for substantiation of an area for it to be approved as an occupied area, and the clam shell baggage door to be approved as an occupant egress door.

For Further Information Contact

Sharon Miles, Aerospace Engineer, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; phone: (817) 222-5122; fax: (817) 222-5962.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 13:34
  #128 (permalink)  
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On the BK117 there was a mod so the doors could be opened by the attendant in the rear , will they now make a similar bulletin on Bk117 and EC145 or is this because it is aproved to a different FAR ?.
I recall a mod on the BO105 for bleed air heat that required the bleed air hoses that went from the engine comparment to the fwd cockpit to be double walled as they went through an occupied area .

Launch Customer Backs Away From Bell 429 : AINonline

Wonder if this is related.

Last edited by widgeon; 20th Feb 2010 at 19:24. Reason: add link
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Old 26th Feb 2010, 08:48
  #129 (permalink)  
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Priority 1 Air Rescue Completes Bell 429 Hoist Search and Rescue Configuration Milestone - Vertical Online

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Old 7th Apr 2010, 03:45
  #130 (permalink)  
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Mercy One's 429 enters service

Mercy One's 429, N911ED, entered service last week in Des Moines. It was the helicopter on display at Heli-Expo in Houston, and it definitely had the clamshell doors in the back for loading and unloading patients. I'm assuming the FAA concerns were addressed.

Last edited by Avnx EO; 7th Apr 2010 at 04:15.
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Old 8th Apr 2010, 03:23
  #131 (permalink)  
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Alright so that's one 429 in service. Where are the other ones? Air Methods has already bailed on the remainder of their order. Has anyone else actually bought one, let alone put one in the field? Or has the entire order book evaporated? I'm not being flippant; I'm serious: the type has been certified (and presumably in production) for almost a year now. Going back to Ian Corrigible's post of late January, there should be about a dozen in service. Where are they? Can we have a headcount?
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Old 8th Apr 2010, 06:25
  #132 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

Good question

We would like to know where are they?!
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Old 8th Apr 2010, 08:01
  #133 (permalink)  
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serial # 10 put on Canadian register 03/26 this year.s/n 1 and and 2 still reg to Bell Canada.
serial # 8 on faa reg since jan this year to mitsui
serial 3,5 7 9 reg to Bell USA.
serial # 6 is Air methods.

Serial # 4 is unknown status on either Cdn or US reg.
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Old 10th Apr 2010, 20:48
  #134 (permalink)  
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Where are the 429s?

Bell said at Heli-Expo it had converted 50 of the 300 letters of intent to orders and planned to produce 25 this year (check any of the trade magazines). One 429 is in service in Des Moines as Mercy One. One is in Japan doing customer demonstrations. Another is returning from the FIDAE show in Chile, where it did the same. Another was reported to have been delivered to Mitsui; it's probably undergoing completions. One's at Bell's Training Academy in Fort Worth for flight instruction. At least one other is probably being used for development and certification of kits, like the rescue hoist and floats.
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Old 10th Apr 2010, 21:13
  #135 (permalink)  
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Pre-emptive SAIB?

Has anyone ever seen a pre-emptive SAIB like this? When it was issued Feb. 5, Bell had said it had delivered two 429s. Each was undergoing completions overseen by FAA inspectors who presumably are familiar with rotorcraft airworthiness regs and know how to approve STCs. One hopes they would address occupant egress through aft clamshell doors. Whole thing seems strange. FAA keeps saying its got an overworked staff and too small a budget. Why spend precious time and money issuing a public notice about something already being surveilled by FAA inspectors? If FAA had an egress concern, couldn't the head of rotorcraft or overall aircraft certification direct his/her staff to monitor it in issuing STCs? What was the purpose or payoff in issuing a public bulletin? Does an FAA inspector really need an SAIB in his back pocket to give him the juice to do his job in the field?
As for "addressing the baggage area as an occupied area," the 429s I've seen have a continuous space from the pedals to the aft wall of the cabin structure. Why wouldn't that entire space be cleared as occupied space? After all, the aircraft was designed from the start as an EMS bird.
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 09:52
  #136 (permalink)  
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A technical question. I've noticed the 429 has a tail rotor at an angle looking from above, tilted backward. Why is that? I understand some helicopters (Sikorsky mostly) have a vertical tail rotor angle displacement, but longitudinal?
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Old 2nd Jun 2010, 12:24
  #137 (permalink)  
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6.1 degree offset at static condition, said to be worth 4 kt or so at cruise.

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Old 10th Jun 2010, 11:41
  #138 (permalink)  
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Anyone know what’s happened to the wheeled version of the 429, Bell seem to have dropped all reference to them.
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Old 10th Jun 2010, 14:54
  #139 (permalink)  
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The original goal was availability from ship #26, but the wheel gear has now been removed from the options list.

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Old 10th Jun 2010, 19:21
  #140 (permalink)  
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One of the Bell test pilots told me today that they are still planning to build a wheeled version of the 429. I think he said it is planned for around autumn...

He showed me around the machine and I have to say...
-its quite ugly!
-even though it is Cat A all up to MTOM, it has quite a small payload.
-cabin space might compete with the 135, but from outside dimensions it looks more like a 145 and the 145 has much more cabin space.
-all the gadgets are great, but its all stuff Ive seen in Eurocopters and Agustas for years.
-Bell might have finally got it right and come up with something modern, but in my opinion they are now just as good as the Agustas and ECs around...not better, which should have been their aim.

...oh I liked the trend indications. Thats one great tool Ive been waiting for a long time.
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