The Civil Aviation Administration of China Approves Gross Weight Increase for Bell 429

November 12, 2012

Customers in China Can Now Fly Farther with More Payload

Zhuhai, China - November 13, 2012 - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced that China has approved the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429. The Civil Aviation Administration of China's (CAAC) approval makes China the twelfth country to endorse the increased maximum gross weight for the Bell 429 based on Transport Canada's certification.

The increase in the maximum gross weight of the Bell 429 allows operators to carry more payload and/or fuel, expanding the capability of the aircraft in any mission requirement. With additional fuel or mission equipment on board, aircrews can fly farther with the tools needed to deliver services critical in supporting the growth of China’s infrastructure and economy. This is important given China’s large and geographically diverse landscape. 

"The approval of the Bell 429 gross weight increase in China allows Bell Helicopter to better serve the multi-mission needs of our customers in China," said Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter's executive vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. "Our customers need to get the most out of our helicopters in their everyday operations and this decision will allow them to better perform vital missions safely and efficiently."

Transport Canada approved operation of the Bell 429 at 3400 kg (7,500 lbs) in January 2012, after an extensive technical evaluation. The increased gross weight of the Bell 429 was driven by customer requirements for an increased load, which dramatically enhances the aircraft’s capabilities. The Bell 429 increased gross weight has been approved by a total of twelve countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam – to date.

The Bell 429 is one of the most advanced light twin IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) helicopters ever developed. It delivers exceptional speed, range and hover performance, and offers operators a state-of-the-art single pilot IFR helicopter with top user-rated in-service support. The powerful and reliable Bell 429 serves the full spectrum of segments including air medical, law enforcement, oil & gas, utility, and corporate. The 429 sets the standard for light twins, delivering exceptional speed, range and hover performance.

The Bell 429 is certified for Single or Dual Pilot IFR, Cat. A / JAROPS Performance Class 1 at maximum gross weight; has a state of the art fully-integrated glass cockpit; an advanced drive system that delivers power and superb performance; best in class WAAS navigation & IFR capability; and is the first helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators. The increased gross weight configuration includes Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning System (HTAWS), a radar altimeter, cockpit voice/flight data recorder and forward flashing lights.

About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.

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