Nigeria is the fifteenth country to approve the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429 based on Transport Canada's certification. The additional 227 kg (500 lbs.) of fuel and/or payload allows operators to take advantage of the aircraft's full capabilities.
"Nigeria's validation of the 429 and its endorsement of the gross weight increase is very exciting for us as the country continues to expand its aviation services and infrastructure," said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter's executive vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. "As the most populous country in Africa, and its leading producer of oil, there is increasing demand for reliable rotorcraft in the oil and gas, utility/corporate, and parapublic/military sectors. The performance boost of the 429's increased gross weight will allow customers across all segments to fully utilize the capabilities of the aircraft to carry more fuel and equipment."
Transport Canada approved operation of the Bell 429 at 3402 kg (7,500 lbs.) in December 2011 after conducting an extensive technical evaluation. The increased gross weight of the Bell 429 will allow customers to take full advantage of the aircraft's capabilities, and operate longer and heavier missions. To date, The Bell 429 increased gross weight has been approved by Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam.
The Bell 429 is one of the most advanced light twin helicopters ever developed. It delivers exceptional speed, range and hover performance, and offers operators a state-of-the-art single pilot IFR helicopter with top user-rated in-service support. It is certified for Single or Dual Pilot IFR, Cat. A / JAROPS Performance Class 1 at maximum gross weight; has a state of the art fully-integrated glass cockpit; an advanced drive system that delivers power and superb performance; best in class WAAS navigation & IFR capability; and is the first helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators. The increased gross weight configuration includes Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS), a radar altimeter, cockpit voice/flight data recorder and forward flashing lights.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.
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