Bell Helicopter delivers two Bell 429s to Nigeria


NPAW NEMA

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of American industrial conglomerate Textron, has delivered two Bell 429s to Nigeria, which marks the first delivery of the aircraft in Africa.

The two new rotorcraft have been delivered to the Nigeria Police Air Wing (NPAW) and the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) following the completion of EASA-approved customisations.

NPAW, which already operated several Bell helicopter variants such as the 47, 206, 427 and 412, will fly the new Bell 429 for general law enforcement, surveillance and force projection.

NEMA will use the helicopter for disaster relief and humanitarian support missions.

“The Bell 429 is structurally similar to the Bell 427 with a composite tailboom and advanced tail rotor drive shaft.”

Bell Helicopter independent representative in Africa, Africair's aircraft sales vice president Robert Prentice said the Bell 429 was the most technologically advanced and capable light-twin helicopter in the market and would serve the NPAW and NEMA for many years to come.

Powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada's two turboshaft engines by, the Bell 429 is structurally similar to the Bell 427 with a composite tailboom and advanced tail rotor drive shaft.

It can be configured with optional clamshell doors to allow ease-of-access with a roll-on / roll-off stretcher-loading system operated by a single person.

Capable of being reconfigured for multiple missions that range from VIP to HEMS, law enforcement, utility and oil and gas, the light twin-engine helicopter has been certified by more than 40 countries.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has validated the Bell 429 for operation in the country and has also approved the increased maximum gross weight of the rotorcraft to 7,500lb.


Image: The Nigeria Police Air Wing (NPAW) and the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have received two Bell 429 helicopters. Photo: courtesy of Textron Inc.

Defence Technology