New Bells to the world this week. The American helicopter manufacturer delivered a Bell 412EP to Nishi Nippon Airlines, the first done through Bell’s new Tokyo office. Another 412EP went to Mexico, to conclude an order of four.
The Nishi Nippon Airlines Bell 412EP hand-over took place on Fukuoka Airport on 19 March 2015. Established in 1953, Nishi Nippon Airlines is a general transportation organization providing air cargo and nonscheduled air transportation services. The first Bell helicopter, a 47G model, was introduced with Nishi Nippon in 1956.
The new Bell 412EP will perform electric power utility missions and will be added to the company’s existing Bell Helicopter fleet of five aircraft, which includes another Bell 412EP, a Bell 429 and three Bell 427 aircraft. The delivery is the 33rd aircraft received from Bell helicopter.
Gulf of Mexico
On the other side of the globe Bell Helicopter delivered the final of four 412EPs to Heliservicio Campeche to support their oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Heliservicio took delivery of their first Bell helicopter in 1991, and has since expanded their fleet to more than 35 Bell helicopters. All of their aircraft are maintained by Servicio Técnico Aéreo de México, Bell Helicopter’s Certified Service Facility for Mexico. Based at Ciudad Del Carmen, Heliservicio has accumulated over a half-million flight hours since their founding in 1978.
The Bell 412EP offers dual digital automatic flight control system with available IFR option and Category A/JAR OPS 3 capability. The chopper has a cruise speed of 122 knots (226 kph), range of 358 nautical miles (663 km) and a cabin able to accommodate up 13 passengers and two crew members. Bell markets the 412 model as one of the primary choices for the oil and gas industry.
The Bell 412 was developed in the 1970s as a successor to the Bell 212, which built on the legendary Huey deployed by the US armed forces during operations in Vietnam. The biggest changes were a four blade main rotor with a smaller diameter, compared to the 212’s two-blade rotor. First flown in August 1979, the Bell 412 started operational service in the beginning of 1981.
Since then many improvements have been made, with 700 Bell 412 produced to date, including at least 260 under license by Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland in Italy.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based on source information provided by Bell Helicopter
Featured image: A Bel 412EP over the Gulf of Mexico (Image © Bell Helicopter)