Bell 412 Turns 40

 - January 21, 2021, 7:56 AM
The Bell Subaru 412 EPX is the latest in the family of the venerable twin-engine medium helicopter, which traces its design roots back to 1959, and is celebrating 40 years of civil service this year.

Bell is marking 40 years of model 412 production this week. Since its introduction in 1981, the rotorcraft manufacturer has delivered more than 1,100 of the medium twin-engine design—derived from the famed Vietnam War-era Huey—across 11 different variants that have collectively logged more than 6.5 million flight hours.

Worldwide, the Bell 412 flies diverse missions, including EMS, offshore energy, law enforcement, and VIP transport. The recently launched 412 EPX, a joint-venture between Bell and Subaru that was developed to support the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JDF), features a 30-minute run-dry main rotor gearbox rated for 11 percent more horsepower, seats 14 passengers, and has the widest loading door in its class. It also has an increased maximum internal weight of 12,200 pounds, an external weight of 13,000 pounds, and can carry up to 5,000 pounds of goods with a cargo hook.

The 412 EPX has a maximum cruising speed of 122 knots and maximum range of 357 nm. It includes the BLR Fast Fin system, a pair of Pratt & Whitney PT6T-9 engines (rated at 825 shp each max continuous), and the second generation of the Bell BasiX-Pro integrated avionics.