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Bell Model 407

United States (1996)
Picture of Bell Model 407 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Picture of Bell Model 407 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Picture of Bell Model 407 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)

The Bell Model 407 was born from the Bell 206 family line and has itself evolved into more potent military forms.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Bell Model 407 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH).  Entry last updated on 3/14/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Bell Model 407 is a four-bladed main rotor version of the successful Bell Model 206 (Model 206L-4) and saw its first-flight recorded on June 29th, 1995. Service introduction occurred in 1996 and the type continues in service today (2017) across various environments, both military and civilian. Military operators of the Model 407 include El Salvador (Air Force), Iraq (Air Force), Jamaica (Army) and the United Arab Emirates (Air Force). Civilian, governmental and special industry market operators also exist. First deliveries of the Model 407 were in February 1996 and the design went on to spawn the Bell Model 427 (since replaced by the Model 429) and Northrop Grumman MQ-8C "Fire Scout" UAV (under development, detailed elsewhere on this site).

Work on a new light utility helicopter by Bell commenced in the early 1990s as the company sought a successor to its long-running, and well-liked, Model 206 series (originally developed to a U.S. Army specification). With a Model 206 modified to serve as the technology demonstrator, the Model 407 was born and two prototypes were used in the trials process which incorporated the composite four-bladed main rotor assembly featured on the OH-58D "Kiowa" military helicopter. The Allison 250-C47 was selected to power the new design.

Serial production began in 1995 and around 1,100 units have been built to date (2017) at a cost of about $2.5 million per unit.

The Bell Model 407 requires a single pilot for basic operation. A typical seating arrangement allows for seven total persons to be carried aloft. The aircraft can also carry external underslung loads up to 2,645lb. Dimensions include a length of 41.7 feet, a rotor diameter of 35 feet and a height of 11.7 feet. Empty weight is 2,670lb with an MTOW of 6,000lb listed.

Power is from a single Allison 250-C47B turboshaft engine developing 813 horsepower while driving a four-bladed main rotor assembly overhead and a two-bladed tail rotor assembly aft. Performance includes a maximum speed of 140 knots, a cruise speed of 133 knots and a range out to 324 nautical miles. Its service ceiling reaches 18,700 feet.


Picture of the Bell Model 407 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Picture of the Bell Model 407 Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)


Externally, the Model 407 carries the smooth, clean lines of the Model 206 before it. The cockpit sports large windows for excellent vision by the pilot(s). The engine sits over the passenger cabin section which features side-mounted hinged access doors. The tail unit (of composite construction) is elevated to help the tail rotor clear the ground. Small vertical fins are set on short horizontal planes at the tail section's midway point. At the extreme end of the tail is a vertical dorsal and ventral fin. The tail rotor is mounted to face the portside of the aircraft. The Model 407 makes use of a simple four-point landing skid arrangement.

Variants in Model 407 line include the Model 417, the Model 407 LOH, the Eagle Model 407 HP, the Model 407AH, the Model 407GX, the Model 407GT and the Model 407GXP. The Model 417 was the civilian version of the planned ARH-70 (detailed below) while the Model 407 LOH ("Light Observation Helicopter") was a militarized reconnaissance version. The Eagle 407 HP was developed for Eagle Copter of Canada and fitted the Honeywell HTS900 series engine of 1,021 horsepower output. The Model 407AH became a specialized armed model for government-level forces. The Model 407GX was given an all-digital cockpit featuring a new avionics set. The Model 407GT was the armed variant of the GX. The Model 407 GXP became an improved-performance version of the Model 407GX with an improved control scheme.

The ARH-70 "Arapahoe", a new lightweight, armed military helicopter developed for the United States Army during the 2000s, was based in the Model 407. However, the project was later cancelled in October of 2008. This helicopter is detailed elsewhere on this site.

The Bell Model 407 also makes up the Northrop Grumman MQ-8C "Fire Scout" rotary-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This aircraft is being tested by the United States Navy for use as an unmanned cargo resupply system for at-sea vessels. This helicopter is also detailed elsewhere on this site.

March 2018 - Bell Helicopters has taken the veil off of its new Model 407GXi product set to feature the Garmin G1000H NHi avionics fit. It is powered by the Rolls-Royce M250-C47E/4 turboshaft series engine for improved fuel efficiency.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (162mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Bell Model 407's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1400
1400


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1996
Type: Light Utility Helicopter (LUH)
Manufacturer(s): Bell Helicopter Textron - USA
Production: 1,400
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
El Salvador; Iraq; Jamaica; United Arab Emirates; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Bell Model 407 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
41.67 ft


Meters
12.7 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
35.01 ft


Meters
10.67 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
11.65 ft


Meters
3.55 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,668 lb


Kilograms
1,210 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,008 lb


Kilograms
2,725 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Allison 250-C47B turboshaft engine developing 813 horsepower and driving four-blade main rotor and two-blade tail rotor.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
162 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
260 kph


Knots
140 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
373 mi


Kilometers
600 km


Nautical Miles
324 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
18,701 ft


Meters
5,700 m


Miles
3.54 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

Civilian models unarmed. Some security and governmental models can carry limited armament as needed.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Bell 407 - Base Series Designation based on the Bell Model 206L-4 offering.
• ARH-70 - Proposed U.S. Army model to serve in the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter role; cancelled.
• Model 417 - Proposed civilian market form of the ARH-70; also cancelled.
• Model 407 LOH - Light Observation Helicopter form for the U.S. Army.
• Eagle 407 HP - Fitted with Honeywell HTS9000 engine of 1,021 horsepower.
• MQ-8C "Fire Scout" - UAV project model developed by Northrop Grumman.
• Model 407AH - Governmental / security model supporting armament.
• Model 407GX - Improved avionics and controlling; Garmin G1000H cockpit.
• Model 407GXi - Model of 2018; Garmin G1000H NHi avionics with Rolls-Royce M250-C47E/4 turboshaft engine.
• Model 407GT - Armed variant based in the Model 407GX product.
• Model 407GXP - Enhanced performance variant with changes of the Model 407GX.