The U.S. Army Bell D-292 conducting a flight test
Role Experimental helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight 30 August 1985
Number built 1
Developed from Bell 222

The Bell D-292 was an American experimental helicopter developed by Bell Helicopters for the United States Army Advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP), as part of the studies involved in the Light Helicopter Experimental (LHX) program.

Design and development

This section needs expansion with: information on later D-292 history.. You can help by adding to it. (September 2010)

The Bell D-292 was developed under the US Army's Advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP), which was a project to develop an all-composite helicopter fuselage, considerably lighter and less costly to build than predominantly metal airframes, in support of the LHX program.[1][2] In February 1981, contracts were awarded to Sikorsky and Bell Helicopters, with Sikorsky submitting the S-75.[3] Both companies were to build three airframes, one tool-proof version, one static-test version and a flight-test vehicle.[3]

The Bell D-292 used the Avco Lycoming engines, transmission, two-bladed main and tail rotors, tailboom, vertical fin, and rotor pylon from the Bell 222. The new airframe replaced metal with composites for greater strength, reduced weight and both lower manufacturing and maintenance costs.

The D-292 serial number 85-24371 flew for the first time on 30 August 1985[4] following delays due to funding and industrial problems.[3]


General characteristics

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Harding 1997
  2. ^ Historic US Army Helicopters Archived 2007-02-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c "Bell admits ACAP delays". Flight International. 1985-01-12.
  4. ^ "Bell ACAP takes off". Flight International: 9. 1985-09-21.