Bell's 429 Closing In on Certification

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Bell Helicopter reports it needs only software approval to notch Canadian type certification for its new Model 429. The light twin rotorcraft has completed all component trials in more than 1,800 hours of flight test involving five aircraft. Approval from Transport Canada is expected by the end of this month, with U.S. FAA approval following "swiftly." European certification from EASA is expected within a few weeks of North American signings. Originally expected to be certified in Q1 of 2007, the Model 429 boasts 301 letters of intent, which Bell expects to convert to purchase agreements upon certification.