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Bell Model 427

United States (2000)
Picture of Bell Model 427 Light Twin-Engine Multirole Utility Helicopter

The Bell Model 427 failed to net market interest so the line was eventually discontinued in favor of the more promising Model 429 instead.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Bell Model 427 Light Twin-Engine Multirole Utility Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 11/18/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Bell Model 427 was a failed attempt by Bell Helicopters to produce a new twin-engine light platform for the civilian market (competing with the Agusta AW109, Airbus Helicopters EC145 and HAL Dhruv) based on its successful single-engined Bell Model 206/407. The Model 427 was differentiated by a twin-engine arrangement but carried the same four-bladed main rotor / two-bladed tail rotor configuration. First-flying on December 11th, 1997 and introduced in 2000, the series saw production span from 1997 and 2010 before the company nixed the model from its lineup in favor of the Model 429 offering instead (detailed elsewhere on this site). Only Argentina and the Czech Republic became operators of the short-lived Model 427.

The Model 427 was essentially another Bell attempt to generate market interest in a twin-engined form of its successful Model 206/407 lines. Work began, in conjunction with Samsung Aerospace Industries of South Korea, in the mid-1990s and its development was largely tied to Computer Aided Design (CAD) to keep costs in check. A prototype went airborne for the first time on December 11th, 1997 and certification followed in 1999-2000.

Much like the Model 206/407, the Model 427's design seated its crew in a side-by-side arrangement at the front with large transparent panels offering excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. Entry-exit was by automobile-style hinged doors along the fuselage sides with larger doors featured at the passenger cabin area. Up to seven passengers could be carried. The cockpit showcased modern elements including two large interactive screens coupled with steam-type gauges.

Outwardly, the helicopter was given fine contouring where even its engine installations were well-embedded into the design to promote a sleek offering. The tail stem was elevated and held outboard horizontal/vertical planes and the main vertical stabilizer was featured at the extreme aft end of the aircraft. The stem also housed the drive shaft powering the two-bladed tail rotor (seated to portside). Over the passenger cabin were the two engines driving the four-bladed main rotor arrangement. The hub was of composite construction and the main rotor blades rigid.
The engines were given full FADEC (Full-Authority Digital Engine Control) capability and encompassed 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D turboshaft types rated at 710 horsepower apiece. Performance specs included a maximum speed of 160 miles per hour, a cruising speed of 160 mph, a range out to 395 miles and a service ceiling of 10,000 feet. Rate-of-climb reached 2,000 feet-per-minute.

Dimensions included a length of 37.5 feet, a width (including the main rotor) of 37 feet and a height of 10.5 feet. Empty weight became 3,880lb against an MTOW of 6,550lb.

In 2004 the Model 427i was proposed which involved both South Korea and Japan industries. However, this product was given up in favor of the more promising Model 429. In 2008, the Model 427 line was officially axed by Bell Helicopters after only two foreign customers were secured (Argentine police and a private Czech operator).

The new Iranian PANHA Saba-248 helicopter is believed to be based on the short-lived Bell Model 427. This helicopter is detailed in its own entry elsewhere on this site.






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 427's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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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
30
30


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 2000
Type: Light Twin-Engine Multirole Utility Helicopter
Manufacturer(s): Bell Helicopter - USA
Production: 30
Status: Active, Limited Service
Global Operators:
Argentina; Czech Republic
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 427 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
37.47 ft


Meters
11.42 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
37.07 ft


Meters
11.3 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.50 ft


Meters
3.2 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
3,858 lb


Kilograms
1,750 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,614 lb


Kilograms
3,000 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D turboshaft engines developing 710 horsepower each and driving a four-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
162 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
260 kph


Knots
140 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
454 mi


Kilometers
730 km


Nautical Miles
394 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
10,007 ft


Meters
3,050 m


Miles
1.90 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
2,000 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
610 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Model 427 - Base Series Designation.