Bell 412
Bell 412EP of the NSW Police Sydney
Role Multipurpose utility helicopter
National origin United States/Canada
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight August 1979; 44 years ago (1979-08)
Introduction 1981; 43 years ago (1981)
Primary users Japan Ground Self Defence Force
See Operators for others
Produced 1979–present
Number built 1,300+[1]
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. It is a twin-turbine helicopter that has been popular on the civilian and military markets, and major users include Canada, Italy, and Japan. Several hundred have been produced since its introduction in 1979, and several iterations of upgrades and variations have been produced such as with upgraded cockpit electronics.

It has been manufactured under license in Italy as the Agusta-Bell AB412, Indonesia, and in Japan by Subaru. The Canadian Bell 412 were produced there because that is location of the Bell Textron factory.

Design and development

Bell 412CF looking forward from the tail
Bell 412 on approach

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.[2] The 412 model was followed by the 412SP (Special Performance) version, which featured a larger fuel capacity, a higher takeoff weight, and optional seating arrangements. In 1991, the 412HP (High Performance) variant with improved transmission replaced the SP version in production.[2] 

In the early 2000s Bell offered the Bell 412EP as its Bell 412 LUH entrant in the U.S. Army Light Utility Helicopter program, where it competed against several other light helicopters for an order.[3]

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.[4] Over 700 Model 412s (including 260 by AgustaWestland) have been built.[5][unreliable source?]

The helicopter is powered by the Pratt and Whitney Canada twin-pack power plant with two turboshaft engines and has achieved the lowest in-flight shut-down rate of aircraft turboshaft engines. If one engine is shut down, a single engine can produce emergency power for 30 minutes. [6]

The aircraft has been produced in Montreal, Canada, in Italy under license by Agusta, and also in Indonesia, and in Japan by Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries).[7] Bell 412 was also initially manufactured in Texas, USA.[8]

The emergency medical configuration can carry 6 patients/wounded and two attendants, or two stretchers and up to four attendants. [6]

By 2022, over 1300 Bell 412 had been delivered.[9]


Bell 412HP of Heli Austria
RAF Griffin HT1
Bell 412
Standard Model with P&WC PT6T-3B
Bell 412SP
Special Performance version with P&WC PT6T-3BF engines
Bell 412HP
High performance version with P&WC PT6T-3BG or -3D engines
Bell 412CF (CH-146 Griffon)
100 custom-built utility transport helicopters for the Canadian Forces, based on 412EP and designated by Bell as 412CF
Bell 412EP
Enhanced performance version with P&WC PT6T-3DF engines
Bell 412EPI
Glass cockpit version with P&WC PT6T-9 electronic controlled engines
Bell Griffin HT1
Advanced training helicopter based on the Bell 412EP, operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) between 1997 and 2018 as an advanced flying trainer. Operated by the Defence Helicopter Flying School at RAF Shawbury and the Search and Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley.
Bell Griffin HAR2
Search and Rescue helicopter based on the Bell 412EP, operated by No. 84 Squadron RAF between 2003 and 2023 at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.[10]
Agusta-Bell AB 412
Civil utility transport version, built under license in Italy by Agusta.[11]
Agusta-Bell AB 412EP
Italian-built version of the Bell 412EP.[11]
Agusta-Bell AB 412 Grifone
Military utility transport version, built under licence in Italy by Agusta.[11]
UH-X prototype
Agusta-Bell AB 412 CRESO
Italian-built version, fitted with a ground surveillance radar.
Bell 412 LUH
Entry for the U.S. Army Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program. Lost to the EC145 entry (see UH-72 Lakota)[12]
NBell 412
Indonesian IPTN's licensed product of Bell 412[11]
Subaru-Bell UH-2 (formerly UH-X)[13]
Modified version of the Bell 412 EPI; 150 on order to meet the JGSDF's requirement for a UH-1J replacement.[14][15][16]
Subaru-Bell 412EPX
Commercial version of UH-X.[17]


The Bell 412 is used by private and commercial operators. It is particularly popular in the oil industries, military, and for law enforcement use.

Military operators

Chilean Air Force Bell 412
Canadian CH-146 Griffon

Main article: Bell CH-146 Griffon

 El Salvador
Agusta-Bell AB-412 of the Italian Army
AB-412 cockpit
Mexican Air Force Bell 412EP, 2012
A Slovenian Air Force Bell 412
 Saudi Arabia
Two Bell 412 of the Republic of Korea Air Force
 South Korea
 Sri Lanka
A 412 of the Royal Thai Air Force
 United Arab Emirates

Government operators

Croatian Ministry of Interior[34]
A Finnish Frontier Guard Agusta Bell AB-412
An Italian Guardia di Finanza Agusta Bell AB-412
South Korean National Police Bell 412
 South Korea
 United States


An LA County Fire Dept. 412 sits atop a helipad in the mountains in the Angeles National Forest.
 United States
 United Kingdom

Incidents and accidents

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.[61]

On April 22, 1994, a Bell 412 medical Helicopter AirCare[62] from North Carolina Baptist Hospital crashed into mountainous terrain near Bluefield, West Virginia, killing all four crew members on board.[63][64]

On July 9, 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.[65]

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.[66][67]

On December 7, 2023, a Bell 412 EPI Helicopter operated by Guyanese military went down with 2 crew and 5 senior officers, at the border between Venezuela and Guyana during bad weather.[68][69]

Iran president 2024

Specifications (412EP)

Rotor head and transmission of a Bell 412

Data from International Directory of Civil Aircraft,[70] Bell 412EP Product Specifications[71]

General characteristics

900 shp (671 kW) single power section emergency power


See also

Related development

Related lists



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