Bell 407

Bell 407

Infobox Aircraft
name = Bell 407

caption = Bell 407 at Airport Niederrhein, Germany
type = Multipurpose utility helicopter
manufacturer = Bell Helicopter Textron
designer =
first flight =
introduced = 1996
retired =
status = Active service
primary user =
more users =
produced =
number built = Over 450 407s delivered by late 2000.
unit cost =
developed from = Model 206L
variants with their own articles = Bell ARH-70

The Bell Model 407 is a civil utility helicopter, a derivative of the Bell 206L-4 LongRanger. The 407 uses a 4-bladed rotor system with a rigid, composite rotor hub instead of the Model 206's 2-bladed conventional rotor. The Bell 407 is frequently used for corporate and offshore transport, as an air ambulance, law enforcement, electronic news gathering and movie making.


In 1993, Bell began the development of the New Light Aircraft as a replacement for its Model 206 series. The program resulted in the 407, an evolutionary development of the Bell 206L-4 LongRanger.Frawley, Gerard: "The International Directiory of Civil Aircraft, 2003-2004", page 47. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2003. ISBN 1-875671-58-7]

A 206L-3 LongRanger was converted as the concept demonstrator 407 and first flew in this form on April 21, 1994, while the 407 was first publicly announced at the Las Vegas Heli-Expo in January 1995. The first pre-production 407 flew in June 1995, and the first production 407 flew in November 1995. Customer deliveries began the following February.

The Bell 407 features the four blade main rotor developed for the OH-58 (Model 406). The blades and hub use composite construction, have no life limits, and provide improved performance and better ride comfort.

The 407 is also 8 in (18 cm) wider, increasing internal cabin width and space, and features 35% larger main cabin windows. The more powerful Rolls-Royce (Allison) 250-C47 turboshaft allows an increase in max takeoff weight and improves performance at hotter temperatures and/or higher altitudes.

In 1995, Bell studied fitting the 407 with a shrouded tail rotor, but did not proceed. For a time, Bell studied developing the Model 407T twin, but instead chose to develop the essentially all new twin PW206D powered Bell 427.

ARH-70/Bell 417

The ARH-70 armed reconnaissance helicopter, being developed for the U.S. Army is based on the 407.

The Bell 417 was a growth variant of the Bell 407, in essence a civil version of the ARH-70 armed reconnaissance helicopter for the US Army. The 417 made its first flight on June 8, 2006. [cite journal|coauthors= |year=2006 |month=October |title=Bell 417 achieves first flight |journal=Rotorbreeze |volume=55 |issue=3 |pages=12] The 417 was to be powered by a Honeywell HTS900 turboshaft engine, producing convert|970|shp|abbr=on and includes full FADEC controls. The cabin will seat 5 passengers in club-seating configuration, in addition to the crew of two. [cite web |url=||title=Bell Helicopter Unveils New Bell 417|accessdate=2006-11-09] The civilian 417 was canceled at Heli-Expo 2007 in Orlando, [cite web||url=|title=Bell Scraps Year-Old 417, Finding No Market|accessdate=2007-06-03] but the ARH-70 will continue production. [cite web |url=|title=A Bit of Patton?|accessdate=2007-06-03|]

Operational history

Polar First

Polar First was an around-the-world, pole-to-pole record flight flown by Colin Bodill and Jennifer Murray utilizing a standard Bell 407. The flight originated from Bell's facility at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport on December 5, 2006 and was completed upon the return of the helicopter to the same facility on May 23, 2007. The team flew about convert|36000|mi|km|-2 over 189 days and 300 flight hours, through 34 different countries. The flight was performed in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society to provide educational outreach to 28 international schools, which were visited during the trip. The project also served as a fundraiser for the SOS Children's Villages. ["Poloar First Sets World Record", "Rotorbreeze Magazine", July 2007.]

2 Bell 407s Crash near Flagstaff (Arizona USA) Medical Center

2 Bell 407 Medical Transports crashed mid air June 29th, 2008 at approximately 3:45pm about ½ mile east of Flagstaff Medical Center (Hospital). The reason is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Pilot Error is the probable leading cause. Of the 7 people involved, 6 people were killed instantly, with one flight nurse, James Taylor of Salt Lake City, age 36, passing a few days later.

The helicopters involved were tail number N407GA, operated by Air Methods, Inc but owned by Guardian Air. Guardian Air is a division of Flagstaff Medical Center. The second helicopter was tail number N407MJ operated by Classic Lifeguard Aeromedical Services of Page, AZ. ["]


;Bell 407 : A civil utility helicopter, a derivative of the Bell 206L-4.

;ARH-70 : An upgraded 407 version to serve as an armed reconnaissance helicopter.

;Bell 417 : Planned civil version of the ARH-70, was canceled.

pecifications (Bell 407)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=copter
jet or prop?=prop

ref= Bell 407 [citeweb|title=Product Specifications: Bell 407|url=||accessdate=2008-03-05]

crew=1 pilot
capacity=Typical seating configuration for seven comprising pilot and passengers, with five passengers in main cabin. Max hook capacity 1200 kg (2645 lb).
length main= 41 ft 8 in
length alt= 12.7 m
span main= 35 ft 0 in
span alt= 10.67 m
height main= 11 ft 8 in
height alt= 3.56 m
area main= 962 ft²
area alt= 89 m²
empty weight main= 2668 lb
empty weight alt= 1210 kg
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main= 2347 lb (internal)
useful load alt= 1065 kg (internal)
max takeoff weight main= 6,000 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 2,722 kg
more general=

engine (prop)=Allison 250-C47
type of prop=turboshaft
number of props=1
power main= 700 shp
power alt= 520 kW
power original=

propeller or rotor?=rotor
propellers=4 blade
propeller diameter main=
propeller diameter alt=

max speed main= 140 knots
max speed alt= 260 km/h
cruise speed main= 133 knots
cruise speed alt= 152 mp/h, 246 km/h
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 324 nmi
range alt= 372 mi, 598 km
ceiling main= 18,690 ft
ceiling alt= 5,698 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=




ee also

* Bell 206
* Bell ARH-70
* Bell 427

similar aircraft=
* AgustaWestland AW119


External links

* [ Bell 407 on manufacturer's site]
* [ Sonoma County Rescue Helicopter (Bell 407) site]
* [ 2 Bell 407's crash in Flagstaff, AZ]

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