Fort Worth, TX (August 28, 2007) — Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, today released photos of the second 429 prototype on its maiden flight. Bill Stromberg, executive director of the 429 program stated, "The 429 development program continues to meet or exceed all the requirements we put in front of it. This second aircraft will allow us to increase the pace of our test program as we progress towards our first deliveries late next year. We completed safety of flight testing and expansion of the flight envelope about one month faster than anticipated and didn’t encounter unexpected design issues in this testing. The two aircraft will depart in September for hot and high testing in Colorado and Arizona and first flight by pilots from the certification authorities."
"This is a strong program and a great helicopter that clearly demonstrates Bell’s commitment to the commercial marketplace," added Bob Fitzpatrick, senior vice president of business development.
Commenting on other outstanding program issues Stromberg added, "We are rapidly closing in on a final configuration and we are very confident that performance and handling qualities will meet our targets. The flight manual and maintenance manual are over 50% complete and long lead spare parts are on order to support initial deliveries to customers. Preparation of customer training curriculum and a flight training device are also progressing on schedule.
The 429, manufactured at Bell’s production facility in Mirabel, Quebec, has generated wide spread appeal in the marketplace and currently has an order backlog of over 200 aircraft. The current development schedule has the 429 achieving FAA and Canadian certification simultaneously in 2008.
Source: Bell Helicopter
Pictures provided and copyrighted by Bell Helicopter
For further information about Bell Helicopter click here