Bell 212

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Bell 212
Bell 212 operated by Kachina departs from the Mojave Spaceport
Role Medium utility helicopter
National origin United States/Canada
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight 1968
Introduction 1968
Status Production completed
Primary user CHC Helicopter
Produced 1968–1998[1]
Developed from Bell 204/205
Variants Bell UH-1N Twin Huey
Bell 412

The Bell 212 (also known as the Twin Two-Twelve) is a two-blade, medium helicopter that first flew in 1968. Originally manufactured by Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas, United States, production was moved to Mirabel, Quebec, Canada in 1988, along with all Bell commercial helicopter production after that plant opened in 1986.[2][3]

The 212 was marketed to civilian operators and has up to a 15-seat capacity, with one pilot and fourteen passengers. In cargo-carrying configuration the 212 has an internal capacity of 220 ft3 (6.23 m3). An external load of up to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) can be carried.


Based on the stretched fuselage Bell 205, the Bell 212 was originally developed for the Canadian Forces as the CUH-1N and later redesignated as the CH-135. The Canadian Forces took delivery of 50 starting in May 1971. At the same time the United States military services ordered 294 Bell 212s under the designation UH-1N.

By 1971, the Bell 212 had been developed for commercial applications. Among the earliest uses of the type in civil aviation was by Helicopter Service AS of Norway to be used in support of offshore drilling; it proved popular across the offshore sector in particular as it had been certified for operating under marginal weather conditions.[4] Today, the 212 can be found used in logging operations, maritime rescue and resupply in the Arctic on the Distant Early Warning Line or North Warning System.

The 212 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3 Twin-Pac made up of two coupled PT6 power turbines driving a common gearbox. They are capable of producing up to 1,800 shp (1,342 kW). Should one power section fail the remaining section can deliver 900 shp (671 kW) for 30 minutes, or 765 shp (571 kW) continuously, enabling the 212 to maintain cruise performance at maximum weight.

Early 212s configured with an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) package were required to have a large and very obvious fin attached to the roof of the aircraft, above and slightly behind the cockpit. This fin was initially determined necessary to alter the turning performance of the aircraft during complex instrument flight maneuvers, but is no longer required due to revised stipulations of the type certificate. Many aircraft still fly with the modification.

In 1979, with the purchase of eight by the Civil Air Authority, the 212 became the first U.S. helicopter sold in the People's Republic of China.

The ICAO designator for this aircraft as used in a flight plan is "B212". Bell developed the Model 212 further with the Bell 412; the major difference being the composite four-blade main rotor. The last Bell 212 was delivered in 1998.[1]


  • Bell Model 212 - Bell Helicopters company designation for the UH-1N.
  • Twin Two-Twelve - Civil utility transport version. It can carry up to 14 passengers.
  • Agusta-Bell AB 212 - Civil or military utility transport version. Built under license in Italy by Agusta.
  • Agusta-Bell AB.212ASW - Anti-Submarine Warfare variant of AB.212
  • Bell Model 412 - Bell 212 with a four-bladed semi-rigid rotor system.
  • Eagle 212 Single - Single engine variant with a Lycoming T53-17 or T53-BCV engine produced by Eagle Copters of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.[5][non-primary source needed]


Santa Barbara County Handcrew and a Bell 212 on the Day Fire

Civil and government operators[edit]

The Bell 212 is used by many private and commercial operators, it is particularly popular in the oil industries and for law enforcement use.

Bell 212 of the Macedonian Police (now Police of North Macedonia) flying over Skopje in 2008
 United States

Specifications (Bell 212)[edit]

Bell 212 3-view drawing

Data from Bell 212 Rotorcraft Flight Manual[18]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (two for IFR operation)
  • Capacity: 14 passengers
  • Length: 57 ft 1.68 in (17.4163 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 6.83 in (3.8311 m)
  • Empty weight: 6,529 lb (2,962 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 11,200 lb (5,080 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3 or -3B coupled turboshaft engine, 1,800 shp (1,300 kW) (TwinPac)
  • Main rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
  • Main rotor area: 1,809.5 sq ft (168.11 m2)
  • Blade Section: root: NACA 0010.8; tip: NACA 0005.4 mod[19]


  • Cruise speed: 100 kn (120 mph, 190 km/h)
  • Never exceed speed: 120 kn (140 mph, 220 km/h)
  • Range: 237 nmi (273 mi, 439 km)
  • Service ceiling: 17,400 ft (5,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,745 ft/min (8.86 m/s)
  • Disk loading: 6.19 lb/sq ft (30.2 kg/m2)

See also[edit]

Related development

Related lists


  1. ^ a b "Bell 212" (subscription article). Jane's Helicopter Markets and Systems. Jane's Information Group, 2 April 2013.
  2. ^ Industry Canada (December 2010). "Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd. - Complete Profile". Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  3. ^ Goold, Ian (November 1987). "Canada Seeks Helicopter Self Sufficiency". Flight International. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  4. ^ "ElBell 212 en la Fuerza Aérea". FAA official magazine. Archived from the original on October 28, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  5. ^ "Eagle Single | Airframe Customizations | Eagle Copters". Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  6. ^ Canadian Coast Guard (April 17, 2012). "Coast Guard Rotary Wing Aircraft". Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  7. ^ Johnson, Oliver (January 5, 2018). "Better, Faster, Stronger: The Canadian Coast Guard's new helicopter fleet". Vertical Magazine. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  8. ^ "Policija Fleet".
  9. ^ "CH-135 detailed list". Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "Bell 212". Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "Japan Coast Guard Bell-212". 海上保安庁 2013 FlyTeam. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "Serbia Police Aviation". Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  13. ^ "Helikopterji in oprema". Archived from the original on June 8, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  14. ^ "Thai Police Aviation Division". Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "Aircraft Operated". Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  16. ^ "Dousing the Flames: San Diego Fire Department Air Ops Program". Access Intelligence, LLC. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  17. ^ "Aircraft N212VC". Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  18. ^ Bell 212 Rotorcraft Flight Manual BHT-212IFR-FM-1 revision 3, 1 May 1998.
  19. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved April 16, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Chant, Christopher. Fighting Helicopters of the 20th Century. Graham Beehag Books, Christchurch, Dorset, England (1996).
  • Debay, Yves. Combat Helicopters, France: Histoire & Collections (1996).
  • Mutza, Wayne. UH-1 Huey in Colors. Carrollton, TX: Squadron Signal. ISBN 0-89747-279-9.

External links[edit]