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

The jet’s large floor plan allows for the addition of an office and a bedroom…
The six-seat, twin-engine jet has a reworked interior and upgraded technology…
The two-seat jet is being developed for both private and military flying…
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The design concept incorporates technology found on Mercedes-Benz automobiles…
The company’s design could reduce the flight time between Washington, D.C., and Paris by 3 hours…
The ergonomic chair promises to make long-range flight much more comfortable…
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The simulated fireplace replicates the heat, sound, and intensity of a real fire…
The amphibious aircraft only requires a sport-pilot license to fly and can be towed behind a car…