Bell 429

The Bell 429 GlobalRanger is a light, twin-engine helicopter developed by Bell Helicopter and Korea Aerospace Industries. The Bell 429 is designed primarily for the emergency medical services (EMS) industry.

Developing nation: United States/Canada.
Manufacturer/designer: Bell Helicopter and Korea Aerospace Industries.
Production Lines: Mirabel, Canada.
Type aircraft: light, twin-engine helicopter .
First flight: 27 February 2007.
First delivery: 7 July 2009, Air Methods (owner) and Mercy One (operator).
Produced: 2007-present

The Bell 429 has 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. The combined cabin volume is 5.78 m³ (204 ft³) with a 130 ft³ passenger cabin and 74 ft³ baggage area,with flat floor for patient loading. A set of rear clamshell doors under tail boom is optional for easier patient loading.

The 429 has glass cockpit with 3-axis autopilot and flight director standard. Standard landing gear are skids. A retractable wheel landing gear is optional and adds 5 kt to cruising speed. The helicopter is a single-pilot IFR Category A helicopter. It is capable of operating with one engine inoperative. The main transmission is rated for 5,000 hours between overhauls and the tail-rotor gearbox is rated for 3,200 hours.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 7 passengers (six in passenger compartment; one beside pilot)
  • Length: 12.7 m (41 ft 8 in)
  • Rotor diameter: 10.97 m (36 ft)
  • Height: 4.04 m (13 ft 3 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,925 kg (4,245 lb)
  • Useful load: 1,250 kg (2,755 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 3,175 kg (7,000 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D1 turboshaft, 625 shp (466 kW); 730 shp (545 kW) takeoff power each
  • Cabin volume: 5.8 m³ (204 ft³)

Performance

  • Never exceed speed: 287 km/h (155 kn, 178 mph)
  • Cruise speed: 273 km/h (150 knots, 172.5 mph)
  • Range: 722 km (390 nmi, 449 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,096 m (20,000 ft)

All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Rob Vogelaar