Bell 212

Bell 212 – twin-engine multi-purpose helicopter, an analog of Bell 204/205.

The Bell 212 is a multi-purpose helicopter with two engines. It is a variant of the Bell 204/205 helicopter. This aircraft was created by the American company Bell Helicopter Textron directly for the Canadian armed forces. The airborne unit first flew up to the sky on April 29, 1965. According to the contract, the Canadian Air Force transferred 70 units, where they were renamed to CH-135. The supply of helicopters began in May 1971. The US Department of Defense placed an order for 294 copies (US Bell-212S renamed UH-1N).

In 1971, mass production was launched in Fort Worth, and later it was moved to Mirabelle, Canada. The helicopter is very similar in size, design, and equipment to the Bell 204/205 model, but had significant superiority in terms of reliability due to the installation of an additional engine. Bell 212 can perform horizontal flight in case of failure of one of the engines.

Modification of the 212th was as follows: they increased the entire volume of the cabin and lengthened the nose fairing, due to this the number of passengers carried increased. In January 72, the helicopter received a certificate according to which it was allowed to pilot directly on instruments, which made it more competitive. Many companies and firms needed a helicopter for more efficient geological exploration, logging, maintenance of offshore drilling platforms, and much more.

In June 1977, Bell 212 was the first of all American helicopters to receive a certificate confirming the ability to pilot instruments over the sea, and the crew, in this case, could consist of one pilot. In February, two years later, China bought 9 cars for industrial use. And it was this type of helicopter that became the first sold by America to communist China.

Since 1952, the Italian company Agusta was intensively engaged in the construction of the helicopter. Previously, she acquired a license. Naturally, they started the serial construction of the 212th. But, unlike the American type, Canadian-made Pratt and Whitney motors – PT6T-3 TurboTwin-Pac were installed on the Italian assembly. It was also renamed Agusta Bell AB-212. It was created according to different staffing levels since first of all they paid attention to the purpose of the helicopter and the personal wishes of the customer. Italian AB-212 began to build in the fall of 1971.

AB-212 was piloted by one pilot. In the basic model, the main purpose of the helicopter was to transport no more than 14 people at a time. But the highlight was that his cabin was easily remade for other needs, even for VIP transport. Any additional equipment could be mounted on this air unit: fuel tanks, winches, floats, a crane for external cargo transportation, ski chassis, and much more. The sanitary modification of the helicopter was able to transport 6 injured on a stretcher and two orderlies.

Using the experience of modifying the Bell helicopter, Italian engineers developed a special version for the ASV / ASW modification, the main purpose of which was to actively combat submarines, surface ships, and search and rescue operations. The modified AV-212 data were mainly located on destroyers and frigates. In 1973, the AB-212ASW entered the pilot tests at the Italian Navy, and in 1976, serial models appeared. There were seven customers for this model, about a hundred vehicles were built, and the largest customer in the amount of 60 units were the Italian naval forces themselves.

The anti-submarine Bell included in its equipment a radar search station with a rotating antenna above the cockpit. The radar itself was automatically connected to the system, which allowed the supply of a continuous image of a tactical situation. There was an identification system “friend or foe”, the station of electronic countermeasures and electronic intelligence. The main element of anti-submarine defense is a sonar, which could be used at a depth of 137 m. During a sonar search for an enemy submarine, the helicopter could be held at any point of hovering. This was made possible thanks to the automatic control system. From armament, the air vehicle could use 2 Mk-46 anti-submarine homing torpedoes or 2 depth-type bombs. She could also carry two AS-12 anti-submarine missiles.

But the helicopter’s history does not end with Bell 212. It served as the base for the Bell 412, which first flew into the sky in August 1979. These devices left a big mark in the history of helicopter construction, since they were often exploited in various military conflicts, in the fight against drug mafia and to fulfill the tasks set by NATO and the UN.

Developed by the American company BellHelicopterTextron, originally for Canadian aircraft, like CUH1N, it was later renamed to CH135.

Canadian aircraft ordered 50 helicopters, their delivery began in May 1971. The US military also ordered 294 Bell 212 called UH1N. The first flight took place in August 1968. Serial production was deployed in 1971.


  • Crew: 2
  • Amount of passengers: 6 wounded on a stretcher or 8 soldiers
  • Suspension capacity: 2268 kg
  • Length: 17.45m
  • Fuselage Length: 12.9m
  • Rotor Diameter: 14.63m
  • Height: 4,5m
  • The area swept by the rotor: 168.1 sq.m
  • Track runners: 3,96m
  • Empty Weight: 2889kg
  • Curb weight: 3119kg
  • Normal take-off weight: 3893kg
  • The highest take-off weight: 4536kg
  • with a load on suspension: 4763kg
  • Fuel tank capacity: 726.1l
  • Additional tanks in the cabin: 2 × 567.8 l
  • The mass of fuel in internal tanks: 592 kg
  • Maximum with additional tanks in the cabin: 1365kg
  • Powerplant: 1 × theater Pratt & Whitney Canada T400CP400
  • Engine power: 1 × 1800hp (1 × 1324kW)
  • Cab length: 2.34m
  • Cabin Width: 2.31m
  • Cabin height: 1,245m
  • The highest speed: 231.5km / h
  • Echelon Speed: 218.5km / h
  • Combat radius: 150km
  • Practical range: 318.5 km
  • Ferry range: 909.3 km (in the cabin with fuel, without payload)
  • Practical ceiling: 4328m
  • Static ceiling: 4267m
  • Rate of climb: 9.4m / s (at maximum power)
  • Disk load: 23.14 / 27kg / sq.m (at normal / maximum take-off weight)
  • Thrust-to-weight ratio: 340/292 W / kg (at normal / maximum take-off weight)
  • Small arms: 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine guns
  • Unguided missiles: 70mm missiles in blocks of 19 or 7pcs.
Graduated from Embry-Riddle Aviation University with a master's degree in aviation science. He began his career as an aviation researcher in local periodicals. Has a pilot license. Now are the author and developer of the Plane Worlds.