|Bell 412EP of the Los Angeles City Fire Department|
|Role||Multipurpose utility helicopter|
|National origin||United States/Canada|
|First flight||August 1979|
|Primary users||Japan Ground Self Defence Force|
See Operators for others
|Number built||Over 869|
|Developed from||Bell 212|
|Variants||Bell CH-146 Griffon|
The Bell 412 is a utility helicopter of the Huey family manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It is a development of the Bell 212, with the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor.
Development began in the late 1970s with two Bell 212s being converted into 412 prototypes. An advanced four-blade main rotor with a smaller diameter replaced the 212's two-blade rotor. A Bell 412 prototype first flew in August 1979. The initial model was certified in January 1981 with deliveries commencing in the same month. The 412 model was followed by the 412SP (Special Performance) version featuring larger fuel capacity, higher takeoff weight and optional seating arrangements. In 1991, the 412HP (High Performance) variant with improved transmission replaced the SP version in production.
The current production version, 412EP (Enhanced Performance), is equipped with a dual digital automatic flight control system. In 2013 Bell introduced the 412EPI which includes an electronic (digital) engine control for a PT6T-9 engine upgrade, and a glass cockpit display system similar to the Bell model 429. Also featured is a Garmin touchscreen navigation system, and the BLR Strake and Fast Fin upgrades for improved hover performance. Over 700 Model 412s (including 260 by AgustaWestland) have been built.[unreliable source?]
The Bell 412 is used by private and commercial operators. It is particularly popular in the oil industries, military, and for law enforcement use.
Main article: Bell CH-146 Griffon
On April 4, 1991, a Bell 412 and Piper Aerostar collided in mid-air over a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All five people on both aircraft, including United States senator John Heinz, along with two children on the ground, were killed.
On April 22, 1994, a Bell 412 medical Helicopter AirCare from North Carolina Baptist Hospital crashed into mountainous terrain near Bluefield, West Virginia, killing all four crew members on board.
On 9 July 2002, a Bell 412 from the El Salvador Air Force crashed after a lightning strike, killing all four crew members and three passengers on board.
On December 10, 2006, a Bell 412 medical helicopter Mercy Air 2 crashed in mountainous terrain near Hesperia, California. All three crew members on board died.
Data from International Directory of Civil Aircraft, Bell 412EP Product Specifications
((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)