Posts Tagged helinews

Bell Helicopter introduces the Bell 429WLG

This week Bell Helicopter unveiled the latest upgrade to its Bell 429. The occasion was the NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) 2013 conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada from 22 to 24 October. The main feature of the Bell 429WLG (pictured) is that its landing gear comprises three wheels instead of the traditional skids.

Bell says this helps reduce the drag associated with skids and leads to an increased cruise speed. The company also claims the helicopter is able to land in a larger variety of terrains and conditions compared to its skid-bearing cousins. Wheels also aid in taxiing in limited spaces, such as when positioning closer to fixed-based operators.

“Offering a wheeled landing gear option for the Bell 429 builds on our ongoing efforts to innovate our current products as we introduce new ones,” says Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Apart from displaying the helicopter publicly for the first time, Bell announced it has already made its first sale of the 429WLG. Argentinean company Rio Iruya expects to take delivery of the helicopter in the first half of next year and intends to use it for corporate and VIP transport. “The development of the wheeled landing gear will benefit me tremendously while manoeuvring through the airports of my city, Buenos Aires, where in many cases helicopters and aeroplanes share the same landing platform,” says Sebastian Eskenazi, president and CEO of Rio Iruya.

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The Rusty Award

Nick Dower with members of Russell Aitken's family.

On 19 August 2013, 20 people gathered at Renzo’s bar in Melbourne’s Docklands to celebrate the first occasion of what will be an annual award for mentors.

Established by Helinews owner, Nick Dower, as a way of recognising outstanding mentorship within the industry, The Rusty Award was set up in memory of Russell Aitken who was tragically taken in an accident in Papua New Guinea on 5 July 2012.

Rusty worked as an instructor for several years and guided many pilots through their careers.

Nick Dower presented the award to Russell’s wife, Kelly Aitken, in the presence of family, friends and colleagues. He described Rusty as “a fabulous mentor” and said, “His absence will always be felt. He was one of a kind.”

Close friend, Steve Chiodo, delivered a heartwarming speech expressing gratitude for having had such a dedicated friend, instructor and mentor.

The occasion served as an opportunity for Rusty’s family, friends and work colleagues to meet and exchange stories. Family members said, “After over a year of sadness, it was lovely to celebrate Russell’s life and achievements and learn more about the industry and people that he loved so much.”

The award came one week after Russell’s burial and what would have been his 44th birthday.

If you know someone you think has been a great mentor, nominate them. Applications are currently open for the 2013 Rusty Award.

Email with your name and the company you work for and the name of the person you wish to nominate and why.

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Bell re-enters Short Light Single market

Bell Helicopter has announced its return to the Short Light Single (SLS) engine helicopter market with a five-seat entry-level aircraft featuring a high visibility, fully flat cabin floor with five forward-facing seats.

Bell says the new aircraft, based on the input of a customer advisory council, is designed for a speed of 125 knots (232 km/h), a range of 360 to 420 nautical miles (667km) and a useful load of 608kg. It should complete its first flight next year.

“Bell Helicopter is no stranger to the Short Light Single market,” Bell Helicopter president and CEO John Garrison said this week at the 2013 Paris Air Show.

“We developed it nearly 50 years ago with the introduction of the Bell 206 JetRanger and are proud to have produced nearly 7,400 Bell 206 series aircraft since 1967 with over 4,400 remaining in service today.

“However, we needed to create a new, modernised aircraft to meet [the] requirements of five-seat utility, training, private and law enforcement operators,” Garrison said.

“The SLS class is both extremely competitive and price sensitive, so we collaborated with customers to incorporate their mission needs in a high performance, high value helicopter at a very competitive price.”

In a press release Bell said the new aircraft would be powered by the Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine, “which will offer the benchmark for performance and power in the 450-550 shp class, while improving safety and lowering pilot workload with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).It will also meet IATA Stage 4 noise targets.”

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company said the helicopter’s design would reduce pilot workload, improve situational awareness and deliver superior auto rotation capabilities.

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