Bell 429 receives TC approval for extra weight


Bell Helicopter has received approval from Transport Canada for a 500 lbs weight increase, the aircraft is now certified in Canada with a maximum gross weight of 7,500 lbs

Bell 429Bell Helicopter announced
that it has received Transport Canada
approval for a 500 lbs weight increase. This increases the maximum gross
weight to 7,500 lbs – for the Bell
429 helicopter.

“This enhancement was
the result of continued requests from our customers to yield additional
performance from the Bell
429. Our customers told us they loved all the features and performance the Bell
429 brings to bear but they wanted more range to take better advantage of the
helicopter’s IFR/WAAS capabilities allowing for a greater safety margin by
ensuring the capacity for necessary fuel reserves for the growing number of
operations in the IFR environment,” said Larry Roberts, senior vice
president for Bell Helicopter’s Commercial Business.

“Outside of the
previous certification limit at 7,000 lbs, all the test data indicated that the
Bell 429 would
suffer no technical constraints by increasing the gross weight to 7,500 lbs. We
reached out to the Bell 429’s certification
authority, Transport Canada,
and have been working with them for several months to validate what our data
showed. After careful testing, review and evaluation Transport Canada
issued the exemption approval for the gross weight increase,” Roberts

The increased gross weight
directly translates to greater range and flight times. Air ambulance and law
enforcement operators in particular will benenfit from the range and performance increase.

With Transport Canada’s approval, Bell Helicopter
will formally petition the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for concurrence with Transport Canada on a 500
lbs. exemption to Part 27 with respect to the 7,000 lbs. maximum gross weight

“We have deep respect
and a very good relationship with both the FAA and EASA. We believe they will
support Transport Canada’s
decision; after all, the exemption would allow for product improvements that
increase operational capability for owners and operators making it a win/win
for everyone,” Roberts said.

The weight upgrade will be
retro-fitted to the world fleet through the installation of a minimal kit that
will be available through Bell Helicopter. Additionally, Bell Helicopter will
issue the necessary changes to the flight manual to correspond with the additional
weight capacity. All of this information will be made available through Bell
Helicopter and its customer support network throughout the world.