FORT WORTH, TEXAS (May 29, 2008) — Last week Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, showcased its latest emergency medical helicopter, the 429, to a receptive audience at the international Air Med conference held last week in Prague, Czech Republic. Sandy Kinkade, Market Segment director for Bell Helicopter and a former flight nurse stated, "It was very gratifying to see first hand how well received this helicopter is by the very community that had a hand in its design. We spent literally hundreds of hours talking with our EMS customers asking what features they would like to see in a helicopter and, based on the response we got from this audience, I think we were able to deliver on most of those features."
As pilots, medical technicians and operators crawled over the aircraft several comments were consistently overheard. The large open cabin drew an appreciative appraisal, side or rear optional patient loading scored big and the pilots greeted the cockpit layout with a vigorous ‘thumbs-up.’
To date the 429 has accumulated over 900 hours of flight testing, while its order book continues to grow. Certification is expected either late this year or early in 2009.
Bell will begin testing various elements of this system later this year with the program targeted to complete in 2010.
Source: Bell Helicopter
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