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Australia’s first Bell 429WLG delivered

written by Hannah Dowling | March 21, 2022

Australia’s first Bell 429 helicopter with wheeled landing gear (WLG) has been delivered to Sydney-based automotive retailer Alto Group.

The Textron-owned company said Alto would be utilising the helicopter for corporate and VIP transport and noted that the 429WLG option allows the aircraft to taxi along the ground for the added convenience of passengers and operators.

The addition of the new twin-engine aircraft brings Alto Group’s Bell helicopter fleet up to three.

“After a long and exhaustive evaluation, we found the Bell 429 helicopter, with the wheel landing gear configuration, as the right corporate helicopter for the Alto Group,” said Anthony Altomonte, managing director of Alto Group.

“As an owner and pilot, the Bell 429’s ease of operation and reliability, ample cabin space, coupled with its smooth and quiet ride allows us to travel more quickly and efficiently to our rural operations to support the Alto Group’s growth in Australia.”

Dan McQuestin, business development director for Bell in Australia and New Zealand said he is “pleased” with Alto Group’s decision to welcome the Bell 429WLG to its corporate aviation fleet.

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“Throughout the region, our corporate customers have experienced how the comfort and speed of the Bell 429 has supported their businesses and lifestyle.

“We look forward to working with Anthony and the Alto Group through our Bell network in the region to support high readiness rates for their Bell 429.”

Bell said its 429s are its most successful light twin helicopter product and has been well received by the industry since its certification in 2009.

Late last year, the NSW Police Force Aviation Command welcomed three new Bell 429 helicopters into its PolAir fleet, following a commissioning ceremony in Sydney.

The new helicopters will serve as PolAir 1, 3 and 4. These will be used to support the Force in patrols, search and rescue, surveillance and specialist operations throughout NSW.

The 429s will replace the Force’s ageing helicopters, including an AS350 single-engine Squirrel and an AS355 twin-engine Squirrel, which have both been in operation since the 1990s, and a twin-engine EC135 that has been in operation since 2012.

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