Bell MAPL Rotor Flies
Bell’s new high-performance main rotor system flew for the first time at Mirabel, Canada, at the end of February. By flying the system, the OEM met a 2005 commitment to demonstrate seven key features of the 429 light twin within 12 months.
The main rotor blade, a product of Bell’s modular affordable product line (MAPL), incorporates advanced manufacturing technology to make the blades more efficient and affordable and features a lower tip speed and swept-tip design to reduce external noise levels.
Flight testing will continue for the next two months to demonstrate stable operation at altitudes to 20,000 feet and down to -40 degrees C.