Mecaer Aviation Group is offering its new MAGnificent luxury interior for the Bell 429 helicopter. The package for the light twin is intended to offer a new level of comfort and functionality for passengers in thecabin. One of the main breakthroughs is Mecaer’s Silens technology for reducing interior cabin noise. This is based on a capsule installed between the airframe and cabin interior that is only attached via the floor and forward and aft bulkheads. By avoiding contact with the ceiling, less noise gets into the cabin from the 429’s engines.
“It means that passengers can comfortably have conversations in the cabin and enjoy movies and music without having to use headsets,” Grayson Barrows, Mecaer’s director of marketing and sales, told AIN. The company has applied the Silens technology to several rotorcraft models and may seek to introduce it for fixed wing aircrafttoo.
Also new from Mecaer is its I-Feel (Inflight Entertainment Enhanced Lounge), which allows passengers to get online and control entertainment and other cabin systems from their personal electronic devices. These include the electro-chromic windows that can be adjusted to avoid glare from sunlight and the environmental control systems. The dual-pane windows also reduce noise in the cabin and ensure passengerprivacy.
The cabin interiors were developed by Mecaer’s design studio in Rome. It will be optional equipment for the Bell 429, available through supplementary typecertificates (STCs), either on new aircraft or as retrofits on existing models. So far, Mecaer has applied for STCs from aviation authorities in Europe, Brazil, Russia, China and Canada.
In addition to the VIP configuration, the 429 can also be used for a variety of emergency medical and parapublicapplications, and Mecaer also produces interiors for these applications. Since 1995, the company, which has facilities in Texas and Italy, has completed almost 2,000 aircraft interiors.
Mecaer has just completed a sales demonstration tour of Europe with the VIP Bell 429. “The reception from those who flew in it was that they loved the comfort and especially the fact that they could have a conversation without using headsets because the cabin is so quiet,” said Barrows.
New VIP 525
Meanwhile, Bell has begun to define interior configuration options for corporate and VIP versions of its new 525 twin, which made its first flight on July 1. “With more than 60 letters of intent around the world for the Bell 525 Relentless, we continue to see significant interest for corporate and VIP missions,” said Jay Ortiz, Bell’s vice president for Latin American sales. “Leveraging the latest technology, the aircraft offers a realm of possibilities when it comes to their specific needs and style.”
As it works with interior suppliers, Bell is aiming to achieve 80 percent commonality between the cabins of its various helicopter while giving customers an extensive choice of options and additive kits. The aim is to ensure consistency in terms of quality while still allowing the client a lot of flexibility to define their desired design. According to the manufacturer, the dimensions of the 525 cabin and its movable partitions give plenty of scope for customer choice in terms of interior options.
There are now more than 1,680 Bell helicopters based in the Latin American region, making it the U.S. manufacturer’s second largest fleet worldwide. This fleet includes 58 Bell 429s, 185 of the 412 model and 227 407s, flown by more than 580 operators.
In addition to Latin American demand for the new 525, the region also accounts for 69 letters of intent for the new 505 JetRanger X single. Bell has three aircraft on display at LABACE this week: a 429WLG, a 407GX and a 505.
By Charles Alcock Courtesy AINOnline