Bell 412EPI helicopter is an upgraded version of Bell 412 EP platform. The new version was introduced by Bell Helicopter at Heli Expo in Las Vegas in March 2013.

The upgrade programme, which is expected to begin in November 2013, will boost the operational flexibility of the helicopter in order to meet the future regulatory and mission needs. The first upgrade is expected to be completed by first quarter of 2014.

Hawker Pacific, the helicopter’s distributor in Australia and New Zealand, showcased Bell 412EPI at Essendon Airport in August 2013.

Bell 412EPI orders and deliveries

Avincis Group ordered for a Bell 412EPI helicopter in September 2013. The helicopter will be used in life and rescue operations. Commercial deliveries of the aircraft are expected to begin in 2014.

Design details of the 412EPI helicopter

“The upgraded aircraft will include a rugged airframe built with safety in mind.”

Most of design features of Bell 412EPI were incorporated from Bell 412EP helicopter. The upgraded aircraft will include a rugged airframe built with safety in mind. It will have a modified tailboom that provides optimising airflow, and improves handling, safety and lift.

Passenger and crew protection will be enhanced by including rupture resistant fuel cells, collective mounted throttles as well as rollover bulkheads. The helicopter will come with single-pilot instrumental flight rule (IFR) capability.

Flight deck and avionics of the upgraded Bell helicopter

The Bell 412EPI is fitted with Bell BasiX ProTM intergraded glass flight deck. Four 10.4in high resolution LCD primary or multi-function display units are provided for vital flight information including electronic flight instrumentation system (EFS), engine-indicating and crew-alerting system (EICAS), and other systems.

Other features include Garmin GTN-750 WAAS GPS navigation with touch screen controls, terrain data displays, critical flight information, terrain avoidance warning system (H-TAWS) and power situation indicator.

The avionics suite also includes rubber-band flight planning, high resolution digital maps, and electronic charts. It features approach plates, transponder for automatic dependence surveillance-broadcast, and XM satellite links.

Bell 412EPI cabin

The cabin of Bell 412EPI provides comfortable seating for two pilots and 13 passengers. The total volume of the cabin is 6.2m3 (220ft3).

The cabin includes a baggage compartment with a space of 0.8m3 (28ft3). It also features energy absorbing crew seats and wide opening doors with 2.32m (7.7ft) width.

Bell 412EPI engine and performance

“The engine is designed to provide 1,410lbs of payload capacity.”

The new helicopter is powered by PT6T-9 Twin Pac engine manufactured by Pratt & Whitney. The engine is designed to provide 1,410lbs of payload capacity. It provides 15% additional horsepower compared to the previous version of Bell 412EP helicopter. It is equipped with digital electronic engine control (EEC).

The standard fuel capacity of the helicopter is 1,251L, while the auxiliary fuel capacity is 621L.

The helicopter flies at a maximum speed of 226kph (122kts). It has a range of 358nm (663km) and maximum endurance of 3.6 hours. The maximum useful load is 2,239kg (4,936lb), and the maximum cargo hook limit is 2,041kg (4,500lb). Service ceiling and hover ceiling are 5,017m (16,460ft) and 3,444m (11,300ft) respectively.

Contractors and suppliers involved with the Bell 412EPI helicopter

Curtiss-Wright Controls was awarded with a contract to provide crash protected data acquisition recorders for use on the helicopter in September 2013. The contractual scope includes supplying compact data acquisition flight recorder (DAFR) product and other additional key data acquisition capabilities for use in the helicopter.

Shadin Avionics was awarded with a contract to provide fuel management solutions for the helicopter.

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