Bell Introduces Another Single-turbine Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, which builds the 206 and 407 single-turbine rotorcraft, unveiled the seven-seat Model 417 at the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo, ending its three-day run in Dallas today. The new model is powered by a Honeywell HTS900 turboshaft. The 407 is powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-C47B. Honeywell expects the initial TBO to be 3,000 hours but is aiming to increase this figure to 5,000 hours for the mature engine. The helicopter will have the tail rotor and four-blade main rotor system of the 407 or the 430. A key feature of the 417 is its integrated Chelton avionics system, with two six- by eight-inch screens (slightly larger than the Chelton screens for the 407) placed vertically. Projected 417 specifications include takeoff power of 925 shp at sea level and 730 shp at 4,000 feet (95 degrees F); max takeoff weight of 5,500 pounds, about 250 pounds heavier than the 407’s; hover out of ground effect, 5,000 feet; VNE, 140 knots; and useful load, 2,667 pounds. Bell expects to fly the prototype 417 in April, with FAA certification following in early 2008. Base price of the 417 is $2.11 million.