|2008 Bell 427 Helicopter - C-GVCN (sn 56054)
Photo taken May 11, 2012
Penticton, BC - Canada (YYF / CYYF)
|Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
The Bell 427 is a twin engine, multirole, light utility helicopter designed and manufactured by Bell Helicopter and Samsung Aerospace Industries. Its design is based on Bell 407. It has been replaced in production by the lengthened Bell 429.
Bell has tried several incarnations of a twin version of its successful Bell 206 series, including the stillborn Bell 400 and 440 in the mid-1980s, and the limited production Bell 206LT TwinRanger in the early 1990s. Bell's original concept for a replacement for the 206LT TwinRanger was the Bell 407T, a relatively straightforward twin-engine development of the Bell 407 with two Allison 250-C22B engines. However, Bell concluded that the payload-range performance of the 407T would not be sufficient.
The company began development of a new light twin, in partnership with South Korea's Samsung Aerospace Industries. In February 1996, Bell announced its Model 427 at the Heli Expo in Dallas. The Bell 427 was the company's first aircraft designed entirely on computer. The Bell 427 first flew on December 11, 1997. Canadian certification was awarded on November 19, 1999, followed by US certification in January 2000, and US FAA dual pilot IFR certification in May 2000. Bell builds the 427's flight dynamics systems at Fort Worth, Texas, while final assembly is performed at Bell's Mirabel, Quebec facility. The 427's fuselage and tailboom are built by Samsung (later part of KAI) at its Sachon plant in South Korea. The first customer deliveries occurred in January 2000.
In 2004, Bell offered a redesigned 427 version, the Bell 427i, which was developed in partnership with South Korea's Korea Aerospace Industries and Japan's Mitsui Bussan Aerospace. The agreement gave KAI the development and production responsibility for the fuselage, cabin wiring, and fuel system. Mitsui Bussan became a financial backer. The 427i included a newer glass cockpit and navigation systems to allow single pilot flying under Instrument flight rules. The design had a fuselage lengthened 1 ft 2 in (0.36 m), a more powerful engine version and transmission, and increased takeoff weight. However, the program was canceled and focus shifted to the improved Bell 429. In February 2005, the existing 80 orders for the 427i were converted to the 429. On January 24, 2008, Bell announced plans to officially discontinue its 427 line after current order commitments are fulfilled in 2010.
The Bell 427 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D turboshaft engines with FADEC. Like the Bell 407, the 427 uses a 4-blade main rotor system with a rigid, composite rotor hub and a 2-blade tail rotor.
The Bell 427's cabin is 13 in (33 cm) longer than the 407, and is primarily of composite construction. The cabin lacks the roof beam which obstructs the cabin on the 206/206L/407, and has an optional sliding main cabin door.
The 427 offers 8-place seating including pilot in a 2+3+3 arrangement. Alternate layouts include four in the main cabin in a club configuration, or two stretchers and two medical attendants for medical evacuation duties.
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Specifications (Bell 427)
Crew: 2 pilots
Capacity: 7 passengers
Length: 37 ft 6 in (11.42 m)
Rotor diameter: 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m)
Height: 10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)
Disc area: 1,075 ft² (99.9 m²)
Empty weight: 3,881 lb (1,760 kg)
Useful load: 2,960 lb (1,340 kg; for internal load)
Max. takeoff weight: 6,550 lb (2,970 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D turboshaft, 710 hp (529 kW) each
Maximum speed: 140 knots (161 mph, 259 km/h)
Cruise speed: 138 knots (159 mph, 256 km/h)
Range: 394 nmi (342 mi, 730 km)
Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,048 m)
Rate of climb: 2,000 ft/min (10.16 m/s)