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Bell 429

Old 8th Feb 2005, 13:00
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Bell 429

It seems Bell are starting to see work on the the MAPL Products yield fruit. I just spotted this about the new Bell 429 on their website.





Any thoughts chaps?

CRAN
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 13:48
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Interesting development but may be a little late by the time it is certified and not quite sure what the market will be with the EC145 and Agusta Grand having such a head start.

However, good to see Bell at least making some effort to compete with the dominant forces in this segment.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 13:48
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oh you beautiful thing!!!.......just like the JRX artist impression...its very inspiring i just hope Bell can deliver.....and im a devout fan of bell and their product support!...i beleive in 10 years time BHT will have the helicopter of choice if they can match or outperform EC but then agian EC have a good product in the 350 series
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 14:06
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Nice looking artist impression (as are all of Bell's artist impressions)! Might be a pretty good ship if they can price it competitively. Maybe they could keep the costs down by building it in...um...Korea?
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 17:17
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A jet ranger/407 with a twin pack. What a joke
Build something new for a change Bell!!!
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 17:23
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Seen it at the HAI....totally underwhelmed by it.....it is no where near the helicopter the EC-135, EC-145 is. Tail rotor is conformed like a 206....inline with the tail boom thus killing the versatility of the tail gate. The passenger steps came from Bubba's Four Wheel driver accessory shop....at least they could have bought the chrome version.

A pig's ear...is a pig's ear.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 18:10
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I am well versed in the Bell 407 / 427 and their issues, and was very impressed by the 429.
Wheels as an option. Skids appeared to be more substantial than the 427.
No fuel in the cabin!
Low floor for loading patients / passengers.
Adjustable seats for the pilots.
Sliding glare shield for the flight instruments.
Cabin is larger than the A109, according to the Bell folks. Option for clamshell doors.
Yes, the tail rotor is in low, but they may listen to more input and put a ringfin on it, or something like it.
It appears they are still in the input mode - I know they had at least two design-type engineers there and they were asking questions as opposed to 'how do you like it?'.
They have made (finally) a bold step.
New rotor blades so it should have better high altitude performance.
But we'll see what the final result is soon.
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 23:48
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Belly Tank, SASless - all good points. Bell is actually trying to do good stuff but my research tells me that the company is staggerring from the V-22 mistakes, incredibly poor decisions (too many to list - there's another old thread on this) made under previous management and making its work force more innovative/creative.

It will happen hopefully sooner than later, so along with the fixes in the TT straps (over 20 years and counting) they WILL, in my lifetime, come out with models that give EADS a run for their money. Meanwhile their ships are cheap, utility focussed, support is good and orders are piling (for the moment). It is a small step in the right direction.

Compare Bell to say old clunky Harley technology which is selling great volumes rather than say a top notch technology laden Honda bike.

WB
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Old 8th Feb 2005, 23:57
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Hi

is from my eyes, or is not only the auto industry that is starting to design different models/brands but with the same look???

isn't a little of

in the second photo of the 429


let's wait for the tech specs...

(the pdf file in bell site isn't availlable yet..)

regards
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 00:21
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Are my eyes decieving me or does that look like a 4 bladed t/r on the first picture? Or should I say two 2 bladed T/Rs stuck together?
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 02:35
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Wot no PATS ?

Believe it's a low-noise scissors-type system.

As Shawn says, BHTC still appears to be in the input mode, hence no glossy 429 brochures at the show and no fenestron or PATS this time round.

I/C
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 04:13
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Ugly.
Looks like a JR on steriods.
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 05:06
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Shawn,

How do you load a patient with the rotors turning on the 429....using the clamshell rear doors?

Am I the only one that thinks the skid steps came from Bubba's four wheel drive shop?

Lets see....year 2005....adjustable pilot's seats....darn what progress.

I did look at the baggage bay hinges....unlike the 412 they did not have Bell 47 part numbers.
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 06:34
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Agree with S76 above

It's gotta be as pretty as the 222/230
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Old 9th Feb 2005, 06:55
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Interesting the negative comments. It's a result of input from a couple of operator committees that included people from overseas. Considering it's a mockup but they plan to fly it this year, I would be surprised if there were no changes but in EMS, the side doors are very wide and the cabin is clean with no intrusions. Cockpit is modern and appears comfortable. Bell appears to be listening to customers.

Looking at it at HeliExpo, I think it is a bold move by Bell to provide an alternative to EC products. Put that, with the 139 and 609 which is due to start again this year and within a couple of years (which is not a long time in aviation), Bell will have a fairly competitive lineup. If they maintain their customer support record, then they should be on a winner.

Just my opinion though.
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Old 10th Feb 2005, 05:04
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SASless:
Agree on the loading thru the clamshell doors with the rotors turning.
But then again, is this commonly done on the BK-117 / EC-145 with the rotors turning?
Lots of other utility loads that could be loaded that way with the rotors stopped.
But as someone said- they aren't done yet.
I'm just impressed that they actually made a lot of significant design changes from their old models.
Couple of other things I missed in the previous message:
The rotor head looked different from previous ones, part old style, part Bell 430 from first glance.
The pilot and copilot doors and cyclics are actually set up so you don't have to do gyrations getting in.
There is no broom closet or anything else separating the cabin and cockpit.
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Old 10th Feb 2005, 17:20
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Hi

the pdf file, in bell site, as been released

Bell 429

again, maybe is from my eyes , but the picture of the first page, doesn't seems somethink like a BK ????


but watherver it's look's like, seems that, or Bell has been doing some homework, or has been reading, a post from PPRuNe, about things that they should use/improve (look at the skids EC style... )

Shawn, anyone, any real pictures availablre???

looks cool, now let's wait for performance data...

regards
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Old 11th Feb 2005, 13:08
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Imitation is the best form of flattery.....Bell seems to think a lot of the BK-117!

While they are busy listening to the customers....wonder why they have not found a way to build a decent pilot's seat? The 206 seat has to be the cause of more bad backs than anything in the world. The Bell Huey seat....has set a standard for being "uncomfortable"....was only outdone by the 412 seat which merely copied the same concept of the 206 seat.

When they built the 407....they moved the 206 seat two inches forward which made it very uncomfortable to fly without buying aftermarket pedal extenders.

Nope...not impressed with Bell seats.

Anyone really happy with the 206 pilot doors? Compared the BK doors and their hold open locks to any of the Bells? 212/412 pilots have calloused legs from holding doors open with their legs and feet.

When they built a four bladed head....they stacked two "540" style rotor blades/hubs and called it good....which it isn't.

Innovative they are not. Heck, they have been working on the tilt-rotor for over 50 years.....and it still isn't done.
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Old 11th Feb 2005, 13:57
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I was also at HAI.

The front of the 429 is impressive enough ... anyone with a history of Bell to hand will probably find its profile under the section marked Bell 400 [the ringtail and predessesor to the TwinStar] which suggests that as the 400 flew a great deal of structural work was done back then... but that tail end ...... Death would be quick if you blundered that way... and many others [potential customers] could be seen pointing at a messy rear end layout .... Centre of the t/r boss is at 6 feet which should make your eyes water only very briefly....

The ringtail is dead, the Bellestron is dead and now Bell's answer to not copying the others on how to stop helicopters spinning uncontrallably is said to be a new Hot-notar blower system [but not yet] ... if copying the systems that work is such a worry why use the tail rotor?
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Old 11th Feb 2005, 14:24
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CS-Hover thanks for posting the link to the 429 PDF file but that has to be one of the poorest documents I have ever seen produced by any company, let alone one of Bell's experience and reputation.

Where are the interior dimensions and layout config diagrams, the top level performance info or indeed any information that might give us some idea of the capabilities of the aircraft.

It also refers to the Aircraft Technical Manual at the end so perhaps someone would be kind enough to post a link to this!!!
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