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SP-MMA Bell 429 c/n 57236 - clip logistics - Berlin-Brandenburg Airport in Germany - 4 June 2016 Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)

The Bell 429 GlobalRanger is a twin engine normal category eight seats helicopter with four main and four tail rotor blades developed by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, partnered with Korea Aerospace Industries and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace of Japan. Development of the Bell 429 started primarily for the emergency medical services (EMS) industry, which was looking for an updated Bell helicopter. Bell's original concept for the 429 was a stretched model 427, the Bell 427s3i, but this did not provide what the EMS operators were looking for. Bell abandoned the 427 airframe and went to its MAPL concept airframe that was in conceptual development at the time. The 429 is the first Bell helicopter produced with Modular Affordable Product Line (MAPL) components. MAPL is an approach to helicopter production where multiple parts are designed to work on a variety of helicopter. The 429 has a carbon composite fuselage and a 4-blade rotor system with soft-in-plane flex beams. The rotor blades are composite and have swept tips for reduced noise. The tail rotor is made by stacking two, two-blade rotors set at uneven intervals (to form an X) for reduced noise. Standard landing gear are skids. A retractable wheel landing gear for ground taxi operations is optional (Bell 429WGL). The basic Model 429 includes a glass cockpit and is certified for single pilot IFR. The combined cabin volume is 5.78 m³ with a passenger cabin and baggage area, with a flat floor for patient loading. A set of rear clamshell doors under the tail boom is optional for easier patient loading in EMS operations. The Bell 429 is powered by two 719 hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D1 turboshafts with FADEC. The helicopter is capable of operating with one engine inoperative. The prototype Model 429 (c/n 570001) was built at Bell's Mirabel, Canada facility and made its first two flights as C-FCTA at the Mirabel plant in Quebec on 27 February 2007. In February 2008, Bell had three 429s in flight testing, including high altitude testing in Colorado and high temperature testing in Arizona. On 19 June 2009, the Bell 429 received type certification from Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), followed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on 7 July 2009. EASA certification was recieved on 23 September 2009. The launch customer for the Bell 429 was Air Methods Corporation, the largest medevac provider in the United States. On 7 July 2009, the first customer aircraft (s/n 57006) was handed over to Air Methods / Mercy One at Bell's facility in Mirabel, Quebec. Today, over 275 Bell 429 GlobalRanger helicopters have been delivered worldwide.

On 11 September 2014, Bell 429 s/n 57236 was registered C-FFBX with Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Mirabel, Quebec. On 5 June 2015, registration C-FFBX was cancelled as exported to Poland. In June 2015, the Bell 429 was registered SP-MMA in Poland with JB Aviation SP, Konstancin-Jeziorna, Poland. In 2016, the 2014-built Bell 429 SP-MMA was transferred to the Clip Group, Swarzedz-Jasin, Poland. Bell 429 SP-MMA was seen at the static of the ILA Berlin Air Show 2016 at Berlin-Brandenburg / Willy Brandt International Airport in the early morning of 4 June.

page last updated: 24-10-2016
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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