Photo: Robert Deering 10/6/2008
Orange County Convention Center
is a twin-engine light-medium helicopter built by Bell
Helicopter. It is a stretched and more powerful
development of the
Bell 230, which, in turn, was based on the earlier
While developing the reengined Model 222 as the 230, Bell began preliminary design work on a stretched derivative with a four-bladed main rotor in 1991. The Bell 430 was formally launched in February 1992, with two prototypes modified from Bell 230s. The first of these flew in its new configuration on October 25, 1994, and the second prototype, featuring the full 430 avionics suite, first flew on December 19, 1994.
Production of the Bell 230 ended in August 1995, and 430 production began. The first 430 production aircraft was completed later that year. Canadian certification was awarded on February 23, 1996. Deliveries began in mid-1996.
On January 24, 2008, Bell announced plans to terminate production of its Model 430 after current order commitments are fulfilled in 2010. Production ended after 136 helicopters were completed, with the last being delivered in May 2008.