- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Bell 214
Bell 214B-1 Biglifter Helicopter - East-West Transportation - C-FXNI
1978 Bell 214B-1
C-FXNI (sn 28022)
East West Transportation Bell 214 Helicopter During Firefighting Operation In Lillooet.
Photo taken July 01, 2004
Lillooet Airport, BC Canada (AR3 / CAR3)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

The Bell 214 is a medium-lift helicopter derived from Bell Helicopter's ubiquitous UH-1 Huey series. The Bell 214ST shares the same model number, but is a larger, much-modified twin-engined derivative.

Design and development

The original development of the Model 214 was announced by Bell in 1970 under the name "Huey Plus". The first prototype was based on a Bell 205 airframe equipped with a Lycoming TS3 engine of 1900 shp.

The first 214A demonstration prototype followed and was evaluated in Iran during field exercises with the Iranian Armed Forces. The first production Model 214A (c/n 27004) was taken in charge by the Iran Imperial Army Aviation (IIAA) on 26 April, 1975. Three days later, on 29 April, this aircraft with Maj-Gen Manouchehr Khosrowdad, commander of the Imperial Iranian Army Aviation, and Clem A Bailey, Bell's assistant chief production test pilot, at the controls, established five new world records in the FAI Class E-1e. The helicopter reached a maximum altitude of 9070m and sustained a horizontal altitude of 9010m for 30 seconds. It also climbed to 3000m in 1min 58sec; to 6000m in 5min 13.2sec and to 9000m in 15min 05sec. The trial was judged successful and an order for 287 214A helicopters followed. The intention was that these aircraft would be constructed by Bell in their Dallas-Fort Worth facility and that a further 50 214As and 350 Bell 214ST helicopters would then be built in Iran. In the event 296 214A models and 39 214C models were delivered, before the Iranian Revolution ended the plans for Iranian production.

Similar in size and appearance to the Bell 205 and Bell 212, the Bell 214 uses a single much larger, 2930shp (2185kW) engine (Lycoming LTC4B-8) and upgraded rotor system giving it a high lifting capacity and good performance at high temperatures and high altitudes. It can be identified by the single large exhaust duct and wide chord rotor blades without stabilizer bars.

Bell offered the Bell 214B "BigLifter" for civil use. Receiving certification in 1976, it was built until 1981 with total production of 104 units. Powered by a 2,183kW (2,930 shp) Lycoming T5508D turboshaft, it has the same rotor drive and transmission system as the 214A. The engine is flat-rated at a maximum 1,677kW (2,250 shp) and the transmission at 1,528kW (2,050 shp) for take-off, with a maximum continuous power output of 1,379kW (1,850 shp). Advanced rotor hub with elastomeric bearings on the flapping axis; raked tips to main and tail rotors. Other features include an automatic flight control system with stability augmentation and attitude retention; nodalised suspension; separate dual-hydraulic systems; a large engine deck which serves as a maintenance platform; addition of an engine fire extinguishing system; push-out escape windows in the cargo doors, and commercial avionics.


Bell 214 Huey Plus - The prototype 214 flew in 1970. Powered by one Lycoming T53-L-702 turboshaft (1900 shp/1415 kW).
Bell 214A/C Isfahan - The 299 Bell 214As for the Imperial Iranian Army Aviation were built beginning in 1972, followed by 39 Bell 214Cs with a hoist and other search and rescue equipment for the Imperial Iranian Air Force.
Bell 214B BigLifter - Civil version of the 214A. 104 built.
Bell 214B-1 - This version of the Bell Model 214B is limited to a maximum 12,500-lb (5670-kg) maximum weight. The external load is the same as the 214B. This was done for certification purposes in some countries where the limit for "heavy" aircraft was/is at 5700 kg. The only difference between the 214B and 214B-1 is the dataplate and the flight manual.

Operational history

An estimated 170 Bell 214A/Cs remain in Iranian service. The overhaul facility set up at the time of delivery, the Iran Helicopter Support & Renewal Company, is now able to do major rebuilds that could be considered manufacture of new machines.

Approximately 24 214Bs are still flying in commercial service where the hook lifting capacity of 8000 lb suits them for fire fighting, logging, and similar crane work. User countries are Australia (3), Canada (8), France (1), Korea (8), Norway (2), Singapore (3) United States (?).

Per the Type Certificate Data Sheet, Note 10., "Except for a difference in maximum weight, the Model 214B and 214B-1 are identical to each other.


Military operators

Civil operators
McDerrmott Aviation, Australia - 3
Helitrans AS, Norway - 2

Specifications (Bell 214A)

General characteristics
- Crew: 2
- Capacity: 3,880 lb including 14 troops, or 6 stretchers, or equivalent cargo
- Length: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m))
- Rotor diameter: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
- Height: 12 ft 10 in (3.90 m)
- Empty weight: 7,588 lb (3,442 kg)
- Loaded weight: 13,800 lb (6,260kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 15,000 lb with slung load (6,805 kg)
- Powerplant: 1× Lycoming LTC4B-8D turboshaft, 2,930 shp (2,185 kW)

- Cruise speed: 140 knots (260 km/h, 161.5 mph)
- Range: 255 mi (475 km)
- Service ceiling: 16,400 ft Density altitude (5,000 m)

Last updated March 23, 2009
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Bell 214".
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