Bell 429 “Global Ranger”
The Bell 429 is a twin-engine “light” helicopter.
The B429 fleet has aircraft operating with 240 operators in 45 countries Including North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The helicopter operates in multiple roles including Corporate, Law Enforcement, EMS, Utility and SAR.
History and Development
The Bell 429 was developed from the earlier Bell 427, when Bell decided it needed a helicopter with a larger cabin and payload to meet the demands of the market. Production was then stopped on the B427 and changed to the B429.
The B429 was first certified in Canada with TCCA in July 2009. Certification was then achieved with the FAA and EASA the same year. The B429 has two variants, the first has skid undercarriage whilst the (WLG) version has a retractable wheeled undercarriage.
In 2021 Transport Canada approved an increased maximum take-off weight of 3,400Kg following extensive evaluations.
Many other countries approved the increased weight for the B429 but two notable exceptions to these were the FAA and EASA.
Both the FAA and EASA argued that due to the increased take-off weight the aircraft would now have to be certified using Part 29 requirements not the Part 27 requirements that it is currently certified under.
Early B429 helicopters were delivered with Rogerson-Kratos cockpit avionic displays. Bell then decided to change to the Astronautics display system which was well received by operators as the Astronautics system was seen as a positive improvement.
The B429 has a strong safety record considering the fleet total flying of over 500,000 flying hours.
There have been about 25 major incidents involving B429 and most of them did not relate to maintenance or design issues.
The B429 is manufactured at Bell’s Canada facility near Montreal, Quebec.
Around 15% of the B429 fleet is currently engaged in the EMS sector.
A trend has developed in European EMS operations away from the H135 and towards the H145, AW169 and B429. The driver is the larger cabin which enables more medical equipment and personnel to be carried. The B429 has not had the same penetration as its competitors in the European market but has seen some success in other areas like North America and Asia.
About 20% of B429 fleet is deployed into the law enforcement and SAR (Parapublic) roles.
Aerial surveillance will form an important part of law enforcement activities for the foreseeable future. However, drone technology could be a game changer in this sector. Why put a police officer up in a helicopter to monitor an area when a drone can provide the same functionality at a fraction of the price and for a much longer duration?
However, because the B429 role in law enforcement is only secondary and the drone replacement will not be overnight or wholescale, the impact is minimal on the future of the B429.
The Canadian Coast Guard service has purchased a fleet of B429’s replacing older helicopters like the BO105 and the B212.
Around 50% of the B429 fleet is employed in the corporate sector.
The B429 is currently heavily dependent on the corporate market. There has been some expansion in EMS and Law Enforcement.
Costs and Values
B429 running costs are reported to be comparable with other helicopters of similar size.
The rental price for a B429 is in the range of US$40K to US$70K per month.
The primary maintenance events on the B429 are as follows:
Airframe inspections are:
- Flying Hour Inspections at 200hrs, 400hrs, 600hrs and 800hrs
- Calendar Inspections at 1yr, 2yrs, 4yrs, 6yrs and 8yrs
Engine inspections at 800 hours and 12 months.
The engine overhaul interval is 4,000 hours.
Power by the hour products
Bell offers a full airframe component support package.
Customer Advantage Plan (CAP)
They offer two versions of (CAP), Standard and Premium.
The premium package offers full coverage for life limited and overhauled parts.
P&WC offer the following products:
- Gold & GoldLite (ESP)
- Silver &Silver Lite (ESP)
The Bell Helicopters home page for the B429
The Wikipedia page for the B429
The Bell Helicopters home page for the Bell 429
The Wikipedia page for the Bell 429
The Vertipedia page for the Bell 429
A OEM brochure on the Bell 429 on the B2B Trading website
A brochure on the Bell 429 by Rotortrade
Video of the Bell 429 at start-up and take-off
Video of Bell 429 in pre-flight
Video of flying the Bell 429
A Facebook page for the Bell 429
Bell 429 surpasses 500,000 global fleet hours
Bell 429 celebrates over 330,000 hours of operation
Bell prepares to deliver the 200th Bell 429
Bell 429 reaches milestone 400th delivery
Brazil and Canada certify the Bell 429WLG
Bell delivers first HEMS Bell 429 in UK
Bell delivers first VIP Bell 429 to UK customer
Latin American tour for Bell 429WLG
European demo tour for Bell 429 hems
Bell 429’s EDAT electric tail rotor system
Bell 429 strengthens public security forces across Europe
Bell announces collaboration agreement for new Bell 429 Law Enforcement Demonstrator in Germany
Bell 429 gaining traction for HEMS missions in China
The first Bell 429 in Bangladesh
Bell delivers first Bell 429s to Nigeria
First Bell 429 EMS in Europe
Bell delivers 20th ems Bell 429
Turkish Bell 429 operators reach 95% availability rate
Bell 429 to feature in Red Bull TV Series, The Horn
Bell offers 429 for Canada FAcT pilot training
JSSI launches parts-only programs for Bell 429
Spectrum Aeromed to showcases Bell 429 system at Heli-Expo 2015
Bell Hit With Lawsuit After Tapping New Cockpit Display Supplier for Bell 429, 412
Alpine Aerotech develops STC for Bell 429 Cabin and Cargo Protection
GPMS gains STC on Bell 429
Oceania receives STC for Bell 429 bike rack
NZ CAA approves Oceania Bell 429 Cargo Pod
Pulselite® Bird Strike Prevention System STC includes Bell 429
EASA approves Bell 429 Bear Paw from Alpine Aerotech
Alpine Aerotech provides floor protectors for Canadian Coast Guard Bell 429s
Mecaer Bell 429 interior approved by Canada, Mexico and Brazil