Legacy Equipment Provides Backbone for Bell’s Future
Bell Helicopter introduced several new model variants of legacy helicopters and is displaying them here at Heli-Expo.
The Bell 412EPI features a new glass cockpit based on the Bell BasiX flight deck with Rogerson Kratos primary function and multifunction displays similar to those on the company’s 429 light twin. It also has been upgraded with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-9 Twin-Pac engines and the BLR strake and FastFin System, which improves high/hot payload capacity by up to 1,410 pounds, according to Bell. The PT6T-9 engines provide 15 percent more power than on the Bell 412EP.
The new cockpit provides coupled Waas approach capability, a power situation indicator, on screen performance calculations and a touchscreen GPS interface through the Garmin GTN750. The layout features four 10.4-inch high-resolution displays and is specifically designed to meet requirements for twin-engine helicopters and for IFR, Category A- and JAR OPS3-compliant operations. The avionics include high-resolution digital charts, ADS-B transponder and optional H-Taws and XM satellite links.
The 412EPI will begin deliveries under a Bell STC in 2014 before switching to certified production later in the year. The estimated price is $10.4 million.
Bell also is displaying the new 407GT, an armed variant of the 407GX equipped with the Garmin G1000H glass panel avionics system. The helicopter was introduced in 2011 as the 407AH with conventional avionics. The 407GT can be equipped with infrared cameras, light munitions and precision weapons systems, including laser-guided rockets and missiles. Deliveries of the base helicopter (no weapons, military radios, or surveillance equipment) will begin later this year. Estimated price is $2.9 million.
Bell also previewed its long-anticipated Model 429 variant with wheeled landing gear that it hopes will increase sales to the executive and VIP markets.
Deliveries will begin in 2014 and the estimated price per helicopter is $6.5 million.