New Zealand Police Bell 429 Fleet Achieves 15,000 Flight Hours Milestone


Photo by Chris Moss

RotorTech, Australia (June 12, 2024) – Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced the New Zealand Police Air Support Unit's fleet of three Bell 429 helicopters recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours of successful operations. Since beginning operation in 2019, the Bell 429 aircraft have primarily served as airborne observation platforms to coordinate ground unit operations, especially when persons of interest remain present at incidents.

“Reaching 15,000 flight hours in such a short period is a remarkable achievement for the New Zealand Police Air Support Unit and their aviation services provider, Advanced Flight,” said Daniel McQuestin, Bell’s business development director for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim. “Bell values our work with law enforcement customers worldwide who rely on Bell 429 helicopters to safely and efficiently perform their important community missions.”

The New Zealand Police maintains 24/7 airborne coverage, equaling approximately 3,300 planned flight hours annually.

Advanced Flight also completed the final modification of the Bell 429s, installing a custom law enforcement package that suits the mission requirements of the New Zealand Police Air Support Unit. “Advanced Flight is proud to have supported the New Zealand Police Air Support Unit and their Bell 429 aircraft since 2019 and we look forward to continuing to provide them, as well as our other customers and their fleets, with a more diverse and specialized range of aviation services,” shared Keith Stephens, chief executive officer, Advanced Flight. “Our commitment to excellence and innovation, coupled with our extensive experience and in-house training capabilities, positions us as the premier Bell 429 operator in the Southern Hemisphere.”

The Bell 429 has proven popular globally among corporate, emergency medical, and law enforcement customers worldwide due to its smooth and comfortable flight experience with best-in-class cabin space. There are over 450 Bell 429s operating globally, accumulating over 602,000 flight hours to date.

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About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.

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