Subaru, Bell team on commercial 412 helicopter upgrade
Bell Helicopter and Subaru Corporation have announced their collaboration on a commercial enhancement of the Bell 412 EPI.
Bell Helicopter and Subaru Corporation have announced their collaboration on a commercial enhancement of the Bell 412 EPI, which was type-certified this month as the 412 EPX, in support of the Japan UH-X programme.
In 2015, Bell’s long-term partner, Subaru (formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries), was awarded the contract for the Japan UH-X programme to replace Japan Ground Self Defence Force’s (JGSDF) current fleet of UH-1J aircraft with a militarized derivative of the Subaru Bell 412EPX.
With improved performance and safety features, the Subaru Bell 412 EPX will also be designed to provide more capability while maintaining its long-established reputation for utility and reliability for commercial customers.
The UH-X is scheduled to start delivery to JGSDF in 2022.
The Subaru Bell 412EPX will benefit from a more robust main rotor gearbox dry run capability, increased internal Maximum Gross Weight to 12,200lbs and mast torque output of +11% at speeds below 60 knots. This will provide operators with the ability to transport more supplies and achieve better operational efficiency.
The Subaru Bell 412EPX commercial variant is planned to become available to customers globally through Subaru and Bell in the future. A commercial prototype has undergone testing at Bell’s facility in Mirabel, Canada, and FAA certification was achieved on July 5, 2018.