- 22 Jun 2021
- Tony Kioussis
- Aviation Podcasts
In 1970, Bell made major changes to increase the performance of its Model 204 and created the twin turbine Bell 212. Using essentially the same airframe as the 204, the 212 is fitted with a Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3 Twin Pac engine and it is largely used for utility and offshore oil support operations with high density seating for 13 plus two crew.
The Bell 212 costs between $1.75m for a 1971 model up to $3.5m for a 1999 model, according to Aircraft Bluebook’s summer 2021 data. The value of a specific serial number could be above or below the average for its model year, however, depending on a range of factors that will be unique to the aircraft – including time and condition of the airframe and engines, damage history, and the quality of its logbooks, for example.
The twin-engine Sikorsky S-76 series offer similar cabin capacity to the Bell 212. Both are typically configured to seat six in executive configuration. Although the payload capabilities of the Bell model are higher, the S-76 has a longer range. Buyers should weigh their mission requirements carefully when choosing which model fits their need the best.
With its substantial cabin volume within its category, and its high payload capabilities, the Bell 212 is a versatile helicopter appealing to multiple operators in addition to corporate and VIP users. These include logging operators, offshore oil rig operators, maritime rescue, and more.
The primary differences between the Bell 212 and Bell 412 are in the engines and main rotors. The Bell 412 has upgraded PT6T-3B engines from Pratt & Whitney, compared to the PT6T-3 powerplants used on the 212 model. And, whereas the Bell 212 has a two-blade rotor, the 412 has four blades.
Bell 212 Turbine Helicopter Overview
By Matt Harris
Production of the Bell 212 spanned thirty years between 1968 and 1998, though civilian deliveries started in 1971. The model was an enhanced version of the older Bell 205, fitted with Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3 Twin Pac turbine engines.
The Bell 212 soon proved popular with the civilian market, with early customers including offshore oil operators. However, with a capacity for up to 14 passengers and one pilot, the Bell 212 is capable of carrying loads of up to 5,000lbs, making it attractive to operators across multiple other sectors. It is more commonly equipped with six seats in corporate/VIP transportation.
Overall, Bell built 662 Bell 212 units over the years, according to JETNET data, and approximately two-thirds of these remain in operation around the world today. A strong market exists for pre-owned models.
What features does the Bell 212 offer?
Offering a maximum VFR range of 182 nautical miles (per Conklin & de Decker), the Bell 212 has a two-blade main rotor, and a roomy 208cu.ft. cabin, placing it near the top of the class in the multi-engine medium helicopter category for passenger space.
What came before and after the Bell 212?
The Bell 212 can trace its roots back to Bell 204, which was first produced in the mid-1950s. Moving into the 1960s, the Bell 204 platform was developed and Bell expanded the family with the longer and larger Bell 205. The Bell 205 offered performance enhancements over the original 204 model, via more powerful engines.
The Bell 212 was based on the 205 model, but with twin-engines. The model was itself developed with the result being the Bell 412. The biggest difference offered by the Bell 412 was a composite four blade main rotor with a smaller diameter. The Bell 412 utilized Pratt & Whitney’s PT6T-3B powerplants, and first deliveries were made in 1981.
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