Bell Helicopter has debuted a new Designer Series interior for the executive version of its 429 GlobalRanger chopper. It was revealed at HAI’s Heli-Expo last month and includes upgraded premium material quality, cabin layout, and soundproofing, delivering an enhanced experience. “The new Designer Series interior in the Bell 429 sets a new standard for Bell interiors,” said LaShan Bonaparte, vice president, Global Sales. “At Bell, it is important to us to provide our customers quality products and services. We’ve been working with our customers and listening to their feedback to design an interior that provides a comfortable and luxurious experience in the aircraft.”
Looking at the official pictures released by the company, the Designer Series interior clearly is inspired by the automotive world, especially the updated upholstery. In fact, the design team at Bell Helicopter says it looked at the automotive and marine industries to find new materials. However, the materials had to be lightweight and flame-proof for them to be used in an aircraft. The highlight of the Designer Series interior is the addition of new color options for the upholstery, which has three two-tone color schemes that combine black with red, beige, or gray. The premium leather upholstery also gets hand-stitching on the seats.
“Part of our modernization process was to bring the 429 up to speed with a high-quality look and feel,” Matt Jayne, Bell’s manager of product marketing told Robb Report. “The type of customer for this helicopter is used to a certain aesthetic since he’ll be moving between different assets like a luxury car or yacht. We wanted to make this a seamless process for them.” The company is also offering a variety of configurations for the buyers to choose from according to their needs. It includes consoles and multi-functional seats with fold-down tray tables that allow easy access to food, drink, and storage of personal items, all color-matched to the upholstery. The new interior also has USB charging ports for added functionality.
To match the premium leather upholstery and other high-end materials, Bell added a hardwood flooring option to the Designer Series, which is not just for aesthetics but also has utilitarian benefits. “No longer do you have to cover up a high-end carpet with a plastic floor protector to keep it from getting dirty,” said Jayne. The flooring is resistant to stains, scuffs, and stains. Additionally, the Designer Series interior adds metal finishes on features like lights, air valves, cabin handles, and door latches. The Bell 429 has been around for more than a decade now and it’s one of the most popular choppers in its segment. The cabin is big enough to accommodate seven, while its 62-inch door is the widest in the industry. The chopper has a cruise speed of 155 knots, and a range of 411 nautical miles.