The Best of the Best 2003: Helicopters - Bell 430

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In 1996, a Bell 430 whizzed around the world in 17 days, 6 hours, 14 minutes, and 25 seconds, setting a record for the fastest global helicopter flight. While it is unlikely any Bell owners—whose ranks include entrepreneur Wayne Huizenga and golfer Greg Norman—will ever attempt such a journey in their 430s, they can take heart in knowing that their machines could withstand such a trying trip. The $4 million, retractable-gear Bell 430 is equipped with twin turbines that provide the 9,300-pound machine with a top speed of 160 mph and a range of 400 miles. The soundproofed cabin can seat eight passengers in spartan but sturdy accommodations.

Bell Helicopter, 817.280.2011, www.bellhelicopter.textron.com

Illustration by Jean-François Martin
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