The Bell 412EPI will be cleared for more procedures at elevated helipads early next year, according to Bell Helicopter, which is launching an upgrade program next month to incorporate improvements to increase operational flexibility for CAT A Part B procedures. The program will cover the use of circular and rectangular elevated heliports and should be finished in time for initial deliveries of the 412EPI in the first quarter of 2014, said the company.
The 412EPI features Bell’s new BasiX Pro glass panel avionics that include high-resolution digital maps, electronic charts and approach plates, an ADS-B transponder and optional Htaws and SiruisXM WX.
The 412EPI also is equipped with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines that provide 15 percent more horsepower, along with the BLR FastFin and strake system to improve aerodynamic efficiency.
Separately, Bell (Booth No. C9343) recently revealed more details of its new Short Light Single (SLS) helicopter, announced over the summer. Performance goals for theSLSinclude seating for five, a speed of 125 knots, a range of 360 to 420 nm, a useful load of 1,500 pounds and a ceiling of 11,000feet. Engine power will come from a 504 shp Turbomeca Arrius 2R engine, and the helicopter will be equipped with Garmin G1000H glass panel avionics.
Initial certification will be pursued through Transport Canada, fueling speculation that the SLS will be manufactured at Bell Mirabel, Quebec. Bell expects first flight late next year. The company expects to accelerate development time and hold down costs by using common drive train architecture and parts with the Bell 206L4.