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Bell Model 204 / Model 205 - United States, 1959


Detailing the development and operational history of the Bell Model 204 / Model 205 Multipurpose / Utility Medium-Lift Helicopter.


 Entry last updated on 9/28/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

  Bell Model 204 / Model 205  
Picture of Bell Model 204 / Model 205


The Bell Model 204 and related 205 series were commercial developments of the popular UH-1 Iroquois transport helicopters.







The Model 204 proved a critical success for Bell Helicopter in the 1950s and 1960s. It not only became the iconic UH-1 "Huey / Iroquois" transport of the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and revolutionized helicopter warfare from then on but it also proved itself a successful commercial market platform. The Model 204 and Model 205 were civilian-minded offshoots of the military UH-1 and based in the UH-1B and UH-1H, respectively. A prototype Model 204 went into the air for the first time on October 22nd, 1956 and production spanned from 1956 until the 1980s - seeing acceptance in government and law enforcement services as well as other sectors.

The Model 204 was born from a 1955 United States Army requirement calling for a utility-minded transport helicopter. Bell used this work to produce both the military "Huey" as well as its civilian-market counterparts, the Model 204 and Model 205. The key to the success of the series was the introduction of the turboshaft engine which, up to this point, had not widely seen as a viable part of a helicopter's makeup. The turboshaft allowed for much improved performance and power gains over previous propulsion systems and this helped to drive the Huey family to the forefront of helicopter design around the world - making it one of the most successful products of its era.

The Model 204 was based in the UH-1B production offering. The Model 204B was given the Lycoming T53-09A engine and could carry up to ten passengers. Agusta-Bell of Italy produced this mark under license as the "AB204". Similarly, Fuji-Bell (Fuji Heavy Industries) of Japan manufactured the produced as the Model 204B-2. These were also taken on by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) under the name of "Hiyodori".






The Model 204B carried a crew of one or two pilots and had an eight-to-nine seat passenger configuration. It could carry up to 3,000lb of cargo in lieu of persons. Overall length was 41.7 feet with an overall rotor diameter of 48 feet and a height of 14.6 feet. Empty weight was 4,600lb against an MTOW of 9,500lb. Power was served from a Lycoming T53-L-11A turboshaft engine of 1,100 horsepower output driving a two-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor. Performance included a maximum speed of 135 miles per hour with a cruise speed of about 125mph. Range was out to 300 nautical miles and its service ceiling reached 19,400 feet. Rate-of-climb was 1,755 feet-per-minute.

The UH-1H became the basis for the Model 205A and these carried the T53-11A engine but could seat up to fourteen. The Model 205 was a larger and more powerful version of the Model 204, evolved by Bell in 1960 after successfully gaining the interest of the U.S. Army in such an improved form. The Model 205A-1 carried the T53-13A engine fit and Agusta-Bell featured this as their AB205. Fuji-Bell followed with the local FHI 205A-1. The Bell Model 205B saw only five produced with its T53-17 engine fit and the nose section and main rotor blades taken from the Model 212. The Bell Model 210 were based in the UH-1H as well but refurbished for resale as new. These were outfitted with the T53017 engine of greater power.

Agusta-Bell also produced the experimental Model 205BG(2 x French Gnome H1200 turboshaft engines) and Model 205TA (2 x French Turbomeca "Astazous" turboshaft engines). The Bell Model 208 was Bell's private venture project of 1965 which involved a twin-engine (2 x Continental XT67-T-1) configuration based on the UH-1D model.

The Model 205A++ served as an upgraded Model 205A featuring the T53-17 engine coupled to the Model 212's main rotor. The "Advanced Model 205B" was a proposed variant offered to, but not accepted by, Japan. The "Global Eagle" was a project fitting the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-67D engine to the UH-1H framework complete with a revised tail rotor assembly. The "Huey 800" was another upgrade proposed with the LHTEC T800 turboshaft engine.




Bell Model 204B Specifications



Service Year: 1959
Type: Multipurpose / Utility Medium-Lift Helicopter
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): Bell Helicopter - USA
Total Production: 1,000


Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)



Operating Crew (Typical): 2
Overall Length: 41.67 feet (12.7 meters)
Overall Width: 48.06 feet (14.65 meters)
Overall Height: 14.76 feet (4.50 meters)

Weight (Empty): 4,597 lb (2,085 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 9,502 lb (4,310 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)



Engine: 1 x Lycoming T53-L-11A turboshaft engine developing 1,100 horsepower and driving a two-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.

Maximum Speed: 119 knots (137 mph; 220 kph)
Maximum Range: 289 nautical miles (332 miles; 535 km)
Service Ceiling: 19,390 feet (5,910 meters; 3.67 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,755 feet-per-minute (535 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload



None. Some security models outfitted with pintle-mounted machine guns at the doors and miniguns / rocket pods on wingstubs outboard of the fuselage.

Global Operators (Customers, Users)



Argentina; Australia; Bolivia; Brazil; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Germany (West Germany); Greece; Guatemala; Honduras; Indonesia; Iran; Italy; Japan; Macedonia; Mexico; Morocco; Myanmar; New Zealand; Oman; Pakistan; Panama; Peru; Philippines; Singapore; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Taiwan; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; United States; Uruguay; Yemen; Zambia

Model Variants



Model 204 - Base Series Designation; based in the UH-1B.
Model 204B - T53-09A engine; seating for ten.
Agusta-Bell AB204 - License-production by Agusta-Bell of Italy.
Fuji-Bell 204B-2 - License-production by Fuji Heavy Industries of Japan.
Model 205 - Enlarged, more powerful variant of the Model 204; based in the UH-1H.
Model 205A - T53-11A engine; seating for up to 14.
Model 205A-1 - T53-13A engine.
Fuji-Bell 205A-1 - License-production by FHI of Japan.
Model 205B - T53-17 engine with Model 212 nose section and main rotor blades; other changes; limited production.
Model 210 - Refurbished UH-1H platforms with T53-17B engine.
Model 205GB - Prototype with 2 x Gnome H1200 turboshaft engines.
Model 205TA - Prototype with 2 x Turbomeca Astazous turboshaft engines.
Model 208 - Experimental UH-1D with 2 x Continental XT67-T-1 engines.
Model 205A++ - Upgraded Model 205A with T53-17 engine and Model 212 main rotor assembly.
Model 205B Advanced - Proposed upgrade to Japan
"Global Eagle" - Proposed model fitted with PWC PT6C-67D engine; revised tail rotor.
Huey 800 - Upgraded commercial market variant with LHTEC T800 turboshaft engine.
Model 211 - UH-1C modified for commercial market; T55-L-7 turboshaft engine.
Model 212 - UH-1N
Model 214 "Huey Plus" - Reinforced Model 205; revised engine fit; becoming the Bell 214ST.
Model 412 - Model 212 with four-bladed, semi-rigid main rotor assembly.
PANHA Shabaviz 2-75 - Local Iranian design; reverse-engineered from the Model 205.


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