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Bell Model 412

Twin-Engine Utility / Transport Helicopter

United States | 1981

"Bell has produced hundreds of its Model 412 twin-engine utility helicopters for various air services of the world."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/06/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Flag of Image from the United States department of defense DVIDS imagery network.
in 1968, Bell Helicopter introduced the Bell Model 212 as a twin-engine variant of its Model 204/205 series. The new model became a notable commercial success for the company. In 1981, the line was evolved to produce the Bell 412 which retained the twin-engine configuration but brought about support for a four-bladed main rotor. The type went on to see widespread adoption by civilian and military forces of the world and over 870 have been produced since. The Canadian CH-146 Griffon (detailed elsewhere on this site) is an offshoot of the Bell 412 line.

In the mid-1970s, Bell Helicopter realized the market need for a modernized version of its critical Model 212 product. This spurred the company to revisit the Model 212 and explore various aspects of its design to help improve its performance - namely range and straight-line speed. It was decided to mate a new four-bladed main rotor to the existing twin-engine design. The rotor used composite construction and was of a smaller diameter which both improved function of the spinning blades when compared to the earlier two-bladed main rotor unit. With this major change in place, a prototype Model 412 was first-flown during August of 1979. Market introduction then followed in 1981 and production has since spanned from 1979 to today (2017). In 1989, the line was moved to Canada where manufactured has continued.

The original model was simply known as the Bell 412 and this version carried 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3B turboshaft engines driving the rotor blades. The Bell 212SP followed as a "special performance" model with PT6T-3BF engines instead. A higher-performance variant became the Bell 412HP with its PT6T-3BG or PT6T-3D engines.

The Bell 412 EP was an enhanced performance form powered by 2 x PT6T-3DF engines, providing a maximum speed of 160 miles per hour, a cruising speed around 140 mph, a range out to 610 miles and a service ceiling of 20,000 feet. Rate-of-climb became 1,350 feet-per-minute.

In the Bell 412EPI, an all-glass cockpit was introduced along with electronically-controlled engines (PT6T-9 series). The Bell 412CF became the basis for the aforementioned Canadian CH-146 and this was based on the Bell 412EP model. Its flight training form was the HT1 and the Search and Rescue (SAR) platform became the HAR2.

In Italy, Agusta took on license-production of the Bell 412 for the civilian market under the designation of Agusta-Bell AB412. The EP-model was the AB412EP. The military transport derivative became the AB412 "Grifone" and a special ground radar-equipped model was the AB412 CRESO. Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) produced the Model 412 as the NBell 412. An little-known unlicensed Iranian-build version of the Model 412 is the Panha 412EP, debuting in 2016.

The Bell Model 412 has proven a popular mount across the world with operators from Algeria and Argentina to Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Beyond its stated military and civilian market value, the helicopter has proven equally-successful as a governmental-level VIP/staff transport for many nations as well. Some police and fire-fighting services make use of the type - such is its versatility.

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July 2018 - The Model 412EPX was unveiled by Bell and its joint-venture partner Subaru for the commercial marketplace. The model represents an upgraded form of the Model 412EPI and, itself, forms the basis of the upcoming militarized UH-X helicopter for the Japanese military. Deliveries of the first EPX will be in 2022 with assembly handled at the Bell Mirabel, Canada location.

January 2019 - The Indonesian Defense Ministry has contracted for eight Airbus Helicopters H225M and nine Bell Model 412EPI helicopters to be acquired through Indonesian Aerospace. The deal includes support, training, logistics, and an H225M simulator as well as weapons and ammunition for the Model 412EPI.

April 2020 - The Bell Model 412 helicopter is part of a Norwegian military modernization that includes long-range air defense systems.

May 2021 - Subaru Corporation has delivered its first locally-produced Bell 412EPX example, ordered in 2019, to Iwate Prefecture Police force.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Bell Model 412 Twin-Engine Utility / Transport Helicopter.
1 x Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3D OR PT6T-3DF "Twin-Pac" turboshaft engines developing 1,250 horsepower each and driving a four-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.
162 mph
260 kph | 140 kts
Max Speed
20,013 ft
6,100 m | 4 miles
Service Ceiling
609 miles
980 km | 529 nm
Operational Range
1,350 ft/min
411 m/min
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Bell Model 412 Twin-Engine Utility / Transport Helicopter.
56.1 ft
17.10 m
O/A Length
45.9 ft
(14.00 m)
O/A Width
15.1 ft
(4.60 m)
O/A Height
6,790 lb
(3,080 kg)
Empty Weight
11,905 lb
(5,400 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Notable series variants as part of the Bell Model 412 family line.
Model 412 - Base Series Designationl initial production model; fitted with PT6T-3B engines.
Model 412SP - Special performance model with PT6T-3BF engines.
Model 412HP - High-performance model with PT6T-3BG OR PT6T-3D engines.
Model 412EP - Enhanced performance model with PT6T-3DF engines.
Model 412EPI - Enhanced performance version with modernized, all-glass cockpit and digitally-controlled engines (PT6T-9 series); increased mast torque; increased maximum gross weight; run-dry transmission system.
Model 412CF - Canadian Army transport helicopter based on Model 412EP.
CH-146 Griffon - Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAAF) designation of the Model 412CF.
Griffin HT1 - RCAF training helicopter
Griffin HAR2 - RCAF Search and Rescue (SAR) model.
AB412 - Civilian market transport model by Agusta of Italy.
AB412EP - Enhanced Performance model by Agusta.
AB412 Grifone - Military model by Agusta.
AB412 CRESO - Model with ground search radar fitted by Agusta.
Nbell 412 - Indonesian local-production model by Indonesia Aerospace (IAe).
Panha 412EP - unlicensed Iranian military version of the Model 412EP model.
Bell 412EPX - Civilian market UH-X variant.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Bell Model 412. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 870 Units

Contractor(s): Bell Helicopter - USA / Subaru Corporation - Japan
National flag of Algeria National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Brazil National flag of Cameroon National flag of Canada National flag of Chile National flag of China National flag of Colombia National flag of Czechia National flag of the Dominican Republic National flag of Eritrea National flag of Finland National flag of Indonesia National flag of Italy National flag of modern Jamaica National flag of modern Japan National flag of Mexico National flag of the Netherlands National flag of Nigeria National flag of Norway National flag of Pakistan National flag of Peru National flag of the Philippines National flag of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia National flag of Slovenia National flag of South Korea National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Thailand National flag of Turkey National flag of the United Arab Emirates National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of Venezuela National flag of Zimbabwe

[ Algeria; Argentina; Australia; Botswana; Brazil; Cameroon; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Czech Republic; Dominican Republic; El Salvador; Eritrea; Finland; Ghana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Indonesia; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Lesotho; Mexico; Netherlands; Nigeria; Norway; Pakistan; Panama; Peru; Philippines; Saudi Arabia; Slovenia; South Korea; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; Venezuela; Zimbabwe ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (162mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Bell Model 412
Image from the United States department of defense DVIDS imagery network.
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Image of the Bell Model 412
Image from the United States department of defense DVIDS imagery network.
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Image of the Bell Model 412
Image from the United States department of defense DVIDS imagery network.
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Image of the Bell Model 412
Image from the United States department of defense DVIDS imagery network.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Bell Model 412 Twin-Engine Utility / Transport Helicopter.
Going Further...
The Bell Model 412 Twin-Engine Utility / Transport Helicopter appears in the following collections:
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