“The request for proposals closes on May 27, but rivals AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters Canada and Sikorsky have all signalled they won’t be submitting bids, leaving Bell and its model 412 chopper (actually the B429–Chuck) as the only contender…. The companies declining to take part are doing so because their aircraft are heavier than the maximum of 4,989 kilograms (11,000 pounds), a safety limit established for the decks of coast guard ships in the 1970s.
Industry sources said at least one potential bidder expressed concern that the standard was outdated and asked the federal government for data on how the weight restriction was calculated. The intention was to prove the decks could handle higher ratings, but officials just came back and said the standard was the standard.”
The Bell B429 is a twin engine helicopter with the capability of allowing single pilot flight in IFR (instrument flight rules) conditions, designed for the medivac market. It is about 2000 pounds lighter than the MH-65 but is otherwise similar in performance. There are a number of door options including clamshell doors in the rear and an option for retractable wheeled landing gear.