Bell 430 Twin-Engined, Nine-Seat Helicopter, United States of America
The Bell 430 is a four-bladed, twin-engined, nine-seat helicopter, initially marketed as a high-speed corporate and executive helicopter capable of speeds up to 257km/h.
Since the Bell 430 entered service in 1996, the helicopter has been very successful in corporate, emergency medical, homeland security and law enforcement roles and in utility and offshore patrol configurations. Over 123 Bell 430 helicopters have been delivered and are in service.
Bell 430 design
The semi-monocoque fuselage is a failsafe light alloy structure. The landing gear and fuel tanks are installed in the sponsons on the lower section of the fuselage. The helicopter has a high sweptback vertical fin.
The tailplane halfway along the boom has endplate fins and a slotted leading edge. The main four-bladed rotor has a diameter of 12.8m giving a main rotor disc area of 128.7m². The all-composite main rotor is installed with a liquid inertia vibration elimination (LIVE) pylon isolation system, which gives improved performance and reduced maintenance requirements.
The helicopter can be fitted with emergency flotation gear as an option.
The avionics suite includes a Honeywell KFC 500 automatic flight control system (AFCS) with Bendix King Gold Crown III communications.
The flight deck is fitted with a Rogerson-Kratos liquid crystal display integrated instrument display system. A Rogerson-Kratos electronic flight information system and a global positioning navigation system can be fitted as options. The helicopter can also be fitted with dual controls if required. The two pilots' seats are crashworthy, energy-absorbing seats.
The cabin can be configured for ten, eight or six-seat layouts. The executive layouts can have club chairs, hand-stitched leather reclining chairs, wood consoles, deep-pile carpets, refreshment cabinets, limousine privacy windows and air telephone communications. The cabin has a forward and an aft door on each side.
Emergency medical services (EMS)
The emergency medical services (EMS) version has 158ft³ of cabin space for one or two pivoting stretchers plus three or four seats for seated casualties and medical attendants. A litter / stretcher door can be installed as an option between the forward and rear doors. The helicopter is equipped with a retractable searchlight and landing light as standard fit.
A separate cargo area, capacity 500lb and volume 1m³, is available for equipment storage. The Bell 430 EMS is available with skid or wheeled gear.
The law enforcement / homeland security configuration of the Bell 430 has a capacity of up to 11 seats or a 3,975lb load. Wide access doors provide easy loading of critical cargo or personnel. An optional slide-down door can be installed. A rescue hoist rated at 272kg capacity can be installed as an option.
Bell 430 utility
Cargo tiedowns are fitted as standard and a cargo hook of 1,587kg capacity, can be installed for carrying underslung loads.
The two Rolls-Royce 250-C40B turboshaft engines are each rated at 584kW take-off power and 521kW maximum continuous power.
In the event of failure, the helicopter can operate under one-engine-inoperable conditions with a single engine rated at 602kW continuous power, or at 701kW for up to 30 seconds. The engines are equipped with Chandler Evans full authority digital electronic control (FADEC).
The fuel system is rupture resistant and equipped with self-sealing breakaway safety fitting units.
The helicopter can be fitted with wheeled or skid landing gear. The corporate version is usually fitted with wheeled landing gear. The main units of the hydraulically retractable tricycle gear are fitted with hydraulically operated disc brakes.
The utility variants of the Bell 430 are equipped with tubular skid-type landing gear and ground-handling wheels. Rotor tie-downs are fitted as standard.
The maximum and cruise speed of the Bell 430 are 277km/h and 250km/h respectively. Its maximum altitude is 5,590m. The range and service ceiling of the helicopter are 653km and 4,450m respectively. Its maximum endurance is three hours and 30 minutes. The helicopter weighs around 2,406kg and its maximum take-off weight is 4,218kg.