Transport Canada has granted approval for a 500-lb. increase to the weight of the Bell 429. The move increases the maximum gross weight of the helicopter to 7,500 lbs., which gives operators additional range “to take better advantage of the helicopter’s IFR/WAAS capabilities,” according to Larry Roberts, senior vice president of Bell Helicopter’s Commercial business unit. The approval follows months of testing and evaluation. Transport Canada concluded that the 429 “would suffer no technical constraints by increasing the gross weight,” Roberts said. Bell plans to petition FAA and EASA for a Part 27 exemption from the maximum gross weight of 7,000 lbs.
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