- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Bell 205

The Bell 204 and 205 are the civil versions of the ubiquitous UH-1 Iroquois single-engine military helicopters. They are type-certificated in the transport category and are used in a wide variety of applications, including crop dusting, cargo lifting, and one of its most common uses, aerial firefighting.


Bell designed its Model 204 in response to a 1955 United States Army requirement for a utility helicopter. The 204 was a giant step forward in helicopter design, being one of the first to be powered by a turboshaft. The turboshaft engine radically improved the practicality of the helicopter due to its light weight and high power to weight ratio, lower fuel consumption, and lower maintenance and operating costs. The use of a turboshaft in the 204 allowed it to carry a useful payload over respectable ranges and at reasonable speeds, which resulted in the 204 and subsequent 205 becoming the most successful western helicopter series in terms of numbers built.

The civil 204B was first delivered in 1961. The subsequent Model 205A-1 is equivalent to the UH-1H, which, compared to the 204, is longer, larger, and has better performance and a more powerful engine.

Over 60 civil Model 204Bs had been delivered by 1967, while further examples were built by Agusta-Bell up until 1973. 12,000 Model 205s (including civil 205A-1s) were built by Bell and Agusta-Bell up to the early 1980s. Numerous ex military 204s and 205s converted for commercial use.


Bell 204

Bell Helicopter's company designation of the UH-1B.

  • Bell 204B - Civil or military utility transport helicopter, derived from the UH-1B. Powered by a T53-09A, max weight was 8,500 lbs, max passengers, 10.
  • Agusta-Bell AB 204 - Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta.
  • Fuji-Bell 204B-2 - Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Japan by Fuji Heavy Industries. Used by the Japan Ground Self Defence Force under the name Hiyodori.

Bell 205

Bell Helicopter's company designation of the UH-1H.

  • Bell 205A - Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Powered by one T53-11A, max weight 8,500 pounds, max passenger, 14.
  • Agusta-Bell 205 - Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta.
  • Bell 205A-1 - Civil or military utility transport helicopter version, initial version based on the UH-1H. Powered by one T53-13A, max weight 9,500 pounds (10,500 for external loads), max passengers, 14.
  • Agusta-Bell 205A-1 - Modified version of the AB 205.
  • Fuji-Bell 205A-1 - Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Japan by Fuji.
  • Bell 205B- Bell's early version of the 210 built in the late 70's; only 5 were built and sold. Had 212 nose, up-rated T53-17 engine, K-Flex drive-shaft, 212 main rotor blades, tail-rotor blades. Max weight, 10,500 pounds (11,200 external), max passengers, 14.
  • Bell 210 - Bell Helicopters designation for a UH-1H remanufactured and sold as a new aircraft. Powered by one T53-17B, same weight capacities as the 205B.

Experimental models

  • Agusta-Bell 205BG - Prototype fitted with two Gnome H 1200 turboshaft engines.
  • Agusta-Bell 205TA - Prototype fitted with two Turbomeca Astazous turboshaft engines.
  • Bell 208 In 1965, Bell experimented with a single twin-engine Model 208 "Twin Huey" prototype, which was a UH-1D fitted with Continental XT67-T-1 twin-pack engine module, consisting of two power turbines driving a common gearbox. This exercise was performed as an experiment using company funds.


  • 205A++ - Field upgraded 205A utilizing a T53-17 engine and a 212 rotor system. Similar to the production 205B and 210.
  • Advanced 205B - Proposed upgraded Japanese version.
  • Global Eagle - Pratt & Whitney Canada name for a modified UH-1H with a new PT6C-67D engine, modified tail rotor, and other minor changes reported to increase range and fuel efficiency over the Bell 212.
  • Huey 800 - Upgraded commercial version, fitted with an LHTEC T800 turboshaft engine.


  • Bell 211 - The HueyTug, was a commercial version of the UH-1C with an upgraded transmission, longer main rotor, larger tailboom, strengthened fuselage, stability augmentation system, and a 2,650 shp (1,976 kW) T55-L-7 turboshaft engine.
  • Bell 212 - Bell Helicopters company designation for the UH-1N.
  • Bell 214 Huey Plus - Strengthened development of the Bell 205 airframe with a larger engine; optimized for "hot and high" conditions. Later developed into the larger, twin-engined Bell 214ST.
  • Bell 412 - Bell 212 with a four-bladed semi-rigid rotor system.
  • Panha Shabaviz 2-75 - Unlicensed version made by Panha in Iran.


Civil operators

  • Canada
    • Heli-North Aviation
  • Bolivia
    • Bolivian National Police
    • Aeroavia
  • Colombia
    • Helicol Colombia
  • Italy
  • Laos
  • Mexico
    • Air America helicopters were formerly registered with XW registration.
  • New Zealand
    • Helipro
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
    • Osterman Helicopter AB
  • Switzerland
    • Heliswiss
  • United States
    • Clear Creek Copters
    • Helipro Completions
    • Rotorcraft Support
    • San Joaquin Helicopters
    • WorldWind Helicopters

Governmental operators

  • United States
    • California Department of Forestry
    • NASA
    • United States Border Patrol
    • Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Fire-fighting operators

  • Italy
    • Vigili Del Fuoco
  • United States
    • Orange County Fire Authority
    • Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District
    • Kern County Fire Department
    • Florida Division of Forestry
    • California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
    • San Diego County Sheriff's Department ASTREA unit in cooperation with Calfire (ASTREA flies two 205A1++ Fire/Rescue helicopters carrying CalFire helitack crews)

Medical operators

  • United States
    • Dare County EMS
  • Iran
    • Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Police operators

  • Brazil
    • Brazilian Federal Police
  • Mexico
    • Federal Preventive Police
  • Philippines
    • Philippine National Police
  • Thailand
    • Royal Thai Police
  • United States
    • United States Border Patrol
    • Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
    • Monroe County Sheriff's Office
    • San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
    • Seminole County Sheriff's Office
    • Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Specifications (204B)

General characteristics
Crew: 1-2
Capacity: 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) including up to 8-9 passengers, or equivalent cargo
Length: 41 ft 8 in (12.69 m)
Rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
Height: 14 ft 7 in (4.5 m)
Disc area: 1,808 ft² (168.0 m²)
Empty weight: 4,600 lb (2,085 kg)
Loaded weight: lb (kg)
Useful load: lb (kg)
Max takeoff weight: 9,500 lb (4,310 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming T53-L-11A turboshaft, 1,100 shp (820 kW)

Never exceed speed: knots (mph, km/h)
Maximum speed: 120 knots (135 mph, 220 km/h)
Cruise speed: 111 knots (125 mph, 205 km/h)
Stall speed: knots (mph, km/h)
Range: 300 nm (mi, 533 km)
Service ceiling: 19,390 ft (5,910 m)
Rate of climb: 1,755 ft/min (8.9 m/s)
Disc loading: lb/ft² (kg/m²)
Power/mass: hp/lb (W/kg)

Last updated September 20, 2010
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bell 204/205".
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