Bell Helicopter has frozen the final exterior profile of its 429 twin-engine helicopter nearly two years after the light helicopter was unveiled.





Two prototypes have completed more than 400h of flight testing - one aircraft is now in Colorado performing high-altitude testing and the other is in Arizona for high-temperature trials, says Bell.



To date, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company has received options for more than 240 of the $4.86 million aircraft, which is targeted at the emergency medical services, law enforcement and offshore markets. Certification and first delivery is set for late 2008, and the company plans to ramp up production to 60 aircraft a year by 2011.