Bell 204/205

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Bell 204/205
A Kern County Fire Department Bell 205 departs from Mojave Air and Space Port
Role Multipurpose utility helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight 22 October 1956
Introduction 1959
Status Production completed
Produced 1956–1980s
Developed from Bell UH-1 Iroquois
Variants Bell 212
Bell 214

The Bell 204 and 205 are the civilian versions of the UH-1 Iroquois single-engine military helicopter of the Huey family of helicopters. They are type-certificated in the transport category and are used in a wide variety of applications, including crop dusting, cargo lifting, Forestry Operations, and aerial firefighting.


A Bell XH-40, a prototype of the UH-1 and Bell 204

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.[1]

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.[1]

Over 60 civil Model 204B helicopters had been delivered by 1967, while further examples were built by Agusta-Bell 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 were converted for commercial use.[1]


A Bell 205A-1, used by Royal Thai Police

Bell 204[edit]

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 Lycoming T53-L-09A, max weight was 8,500 lbs, max passengers, ten.[2]
  • Agusta 204B – Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta in 1963–1967.[3] Also known as Agusta-Bell AB 204
  • Fuji-Bell 204B/204B-2 – Civil utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Japan by Fuji Heavy Industries alongside military HU-1B and HU-1H for the Japan Ground Self Defense Force.[4]

Bell 205[edit]

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

  • Bell 205A – Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Powered by one T53-L-11A, max weight 8,500 pounds, max passenger, 14.[2]
    • Agusta-Bell 205 – Civil or military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Italy by Agusta.[citation needed]
  • Bell 205A-1 – Civil or military utility transport helicopter version, initial version based on the UH-1H. Powered by one T53-L-13A, max weight 9,500 pounds (10,500 for external loads), max passengers, 14.[2]
  • Fuji-Bell 205B – a joint Bell-Fuji commercial variant based on UH-1J, a Japanese improved model of UH-1H.[5]
  • Bell 210 – Bell Helicopter's designation for a UH-1H, remanufactured and sold as a new aircraft. Powered by one T53-L-17B, same weight capacities as the 205B.[2]
A Bell 205A-1 on firefighting duty with Valhalla Helicopters

Experimental models[edit]

  • Agusta-Bell 205BG – Prototype fitted with two Gnome H 1200 turboshaft engines.[6]
  • Agusta-Bell 205TA – Prototype fitted with two Turbomeca Astazous turboshaft engines.[6]
  • 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.[6]


  • 205A-1++ – Field-upgraded 205A utilizing a T53-L-17 engine and a 212 drivetrain. Similar to the production 205B and 210.
  • Advanced 205B – Proposed upgraded Japanese version.[citation needed]
  • Global EaglePratt & 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.[7]
  • Huey 800 – Upgraded commercial version, fitted with an LHTEC T800 turboshaft engine.[citation needed]


A Bell 205A-1 with its helitack firefighting crew with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 1995
  • 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.[8]
  • Bell 212 – Bell Helicopter's company designation for the UH-1N.[citation needed]
  • 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-engine Bell 214ST.[citation needed]
  • Bell 412 – Bell 212 with a four-blade semi-rigid rotor system.[citation needed]
  • Panha Shabaviz 2-75 – is an Iranian utility helicopter built by the Iranian Helicopter Support and Renewal Company.[9] It is a reverse engineered version of the Bell 205s which were sold to the government of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The first example was built in 1998 and the type was publicly unveiled the following year.[9] It has been manufactured locally in Iran since 2002 and is in active service with the Iranian military and government. It has also been claimed that it can be modified to carry light weaponry.[citation needed]


Military operators[edit]

For all military operators, regardless of the actual model, see List of UH-1 Iroquois operators
Iranian Police Aviation AB-205A

Government operators[edit]

 United States
California Department of Forestry "Super Huey", formerly an EH-1H, assigned to the Bieber Helitack crew, takes off from the Mojave Airport

Specifications (204B)[edit]

Bell 204 instrument panel

Data from The International Directory of Civil Aircraft [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2
  • Capacity: 8-9 passengers / 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) equivalent cargo
  • Length: 41 ft 8 in (12.70 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 7 in (4.45 m)
  • Empty weight: 4,600 lb (2,087 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 9,500 lb (4,309 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming T53-L-11A turboshaft engine, 1,100 shp (820 kW)
  • Main rotor diameter: 48 ft (15 m)
  • Main rotor area: 1,808 sq ft (168.0 m2)


  • Maximum speed: 120 kn (140 mph, 220 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 111 kn (128 mph, 206 km/h)
  • Range: 300 nmi (350 mi, 560 km)
  • Service ceiling: 19,390 ft (5,910 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,755 ft/min (8.92 m/s)

See also[edit]

Related development

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d Frawley, Gerard: The International Directory of Civil Aircraft, 2003–2004, page 44. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2003. ISBN 1-875671-58-7
  2. ^ a b c d FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet H1SW for the 204, 205A, 205A-1 and 210 models
  3. ^ Mutza, Wayne: UH-1 Huey In Action, Aircraft No.75, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1986. ISBN 0-89747-179-2 p.10
  4. ^ HISTORY|SUBARU BELL 412EPX|SUBARU Aerospace Company
  5. ^ Takeshi Makino (24 December 2002). "The Activities of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. in the Field of Vertical Flight". Archived from the original on 14 April 2004. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Greg Goebel's Vectorsite in Public Domain Archived April 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Douglas W. Nelms (1 November 2005). "Eagle Power". Aviation Today. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  8. ^ "Skycranes". Centennial of Flight Commission. Archived from the original on 9 April 2007. Retrieved 15 March 2007.
  9. ^ a b Panha hovers between repair and manufacturing.
  10. ^ "Research aircraft (rotary and fixed wing) – National Research Council Canada". Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  11. ^ "ROYAL THAI POLICE -History" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Royal Thai Police Wing". JetPhotos.Net. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  13. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings Thailand (THL), archived from the original on 25 January 2012, retrieved 30 August 2012
  14. ^ "National Airborne Service Corps (NASC)". TaiwanAirPower. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  15. ^ "CAL FIRE Air Unit". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services". Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Heuy dust off". Network Solutions®. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  18. ^ "LVMPD Air Support". Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  19. ^ "NASA Security". 8 January 2010. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  20. ^ of the UH-1 on
  21. ^ "OC Fire Authority". Copyright ©DPD. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  22. ^ "SBSD Aircraft operated". Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  23. ^ "San Diego Sheriff's Copter 10 Responds To Riverside County For Hoist Rescue". Police Helicopter Archived from the original on 8 June 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  24. ^ "San Diego County Sheriff Bell 205A". Demand media. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  25. ^ "Southwest Border Region". Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  26. ^ "US Customs & Border Protection UH-1H". Demand media. Archived from the original on 8 June 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  27. ^ "Ventura County Air Unit". Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  28. ^ "Kittitas County prepares for wildfire season". Retrieved 17 January 2013.


  • Chant, Christopher, Fighting Helicopters of the 20th Century, Graham Beehag Books, Christchurch, Dorset, England (1996).
  • Debay, Yves, Combat Helicopters, France: Histoire & Collections (1996)
  • Drendel, Lou. UH-1 in Action. Carrollton, TX: Squadron Signal. ISBN 0-89747-179-2
  • Francillon, Rene, J. Vietnam: The War in the Air New York: Arch Cape Press (1987)
  • Mesko, Jim, Airmobile: The Helicopter War in Vietnam, Squadron Signal Publications (1984).
  • Specifications for 204, 205 and 214 Huey Plus
  • Mutza, Wayne. UH-1 Huey in Colors. Carrollton, TX: Squadron Signal. ISBN 0-89747-279-9
  • "Pentagon Over the Islands: The Thirty-Year History of Indonesian Military Aviation". Air Enthusiast Quarterly (2): 154–162. n.d. ISSN 0143-5450.

The initial version of this article was based on a public domain article from Greg Goebel's Vectorsite.

External links[edit]