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Bell 429 GlobalRanger
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HB-ZOP Bell 429 c/n 57324 - HELIAND - Amsterdam Heliport in Holland - 14 October 2018 Heliport Amsterdam

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 350 Bell 429 GlobalRanger helicopters have been delivered worldwide. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Bell 429 GlobelRanger is B429.

On 17 November 2016, Bell 429 s/n 57324 was registered C-FUBT with Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Mirabel, Quebec. In July 2017, the airframe was shipped to Bell Helicopter’s Prague facility in Europe, for painting and preparing for its future EMS - SAR role. On 20 October 2017, after Bell 429 C-FUBT was configured to support helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) and search-and-rescue (SAR) in Andorra, it was seen first in Soldeu, Andorra. On 14 November 2017, registration C-FUBT was cancelled as exported to Switzerland, and on 28 November 2017, the Bell 429 was registered HB-ZOP with Lions Air Skymedia AG, Zürich, as operator and Helicopter del Nord SL, as owner. On 6 December 2017, Bell 429 HB-ZOP was delivered to Heliand - Helicopter del Nord, in Andorra. The 2016-built HEMS-helicopter is equipped with a hoist and a bubble-window. On 14 October 2018, when on its way to Helitech International 2018 in the RAI in Amsterdam, Bell 429 HB-ZOP was seen at Heliport Amsterdam, with HELIAND titles and a "MITJANS AERIS.GOVERN D'ANDORRA" logo.

page last updated: 15-10-2018
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

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