Compare the fixed costs, variable cost, and performance of Bell 427 to over 500 jets, turboprops, helicopters and piston aircraft, with accurate data from Conklin & de Decker.
In the mid-1990s, it became clear from market research and customer comments that Bell needed to develop a light twin-engine turbine helicopter. The original concept involved combining the Bell 407 fuselage and rotor with a new transmission and two engines. This led to the Bell 427. In 1996, the project was launched with the signing of a collaborative agreement with Samsung of Korea. Further research showed that potential customers wanted a flat floor instead of the “bathtub” floor of the 407. This, and other results of both engineering analysis and market research, resulted in the design of what is essentially a new helicopter.
The Bell 427 is a light twin-engine turbine-powered helicopter designed to the requirements of FAR 27 and JAR 27. The four-bladed rotor and hub uses Bell’s “soft inplane” technology. The main rotor blades are made of composites. Two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW 206D engines drive directly into the main transmission. As with all other Bell helicopters, a two-bladed tail rotor provides directional control. The cabin is made of composite structure and the tail boom is made of aluminum alloy, both made by Samsung. A fixed skid landing gear is used. The cabin dimensions are similar to those of the Bell 407, except that the length has been increased by 13 inches. This allows a spacious cabin that can seat four or five in facing seats in a corporate configuration, or six on forward-facing seats in a utility configuration. An EMS configuration is also available, although that involves the removal of one fuel tank.
Development of the Bell 427 started in 1996, the first flight occurred in 1998, and VFR certification was obtained in 2000.
Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207D 2