Bell 230 / 430
At the 1989 NBAA Convention, Bell announced its intention to develop an improved variant of its Bell 222. Powered by two 700shp Allison 250-C30-G2 turbines driving an advanced design two-blade rotor, the Model 230 could carry up to ten people in a 3.8cu.m passenger compartment. Internal fuel capacity had been increased to 930 litres with a maximum of 1359 litres with optional fuel tanks. A fixed skid undercarriage is also available and, from the 51st production aircraft, Bell will offer a variant powered by Lycoming LTS101-750 turbo-shafts. This helicopter is to be built at the company's facility in Canada.
Two prototypes were converted from Bell 222s at the Mirabel factory near Montreal and the first of these (registered C-GEXP) accomplished its maiden flight on 12 August, 1991. The type received Transport Canada type approval on 12 March 1992 and the production aircraft (C-GAHJ) first flew on 23 May 1992. Deliveries began on 16 November 1992. A total of 37 were delivered by January 1998. The second prototype (C-GBLL) flew on 3 October 1991. An initial order for twenty was placed by Bell's Japanese representative Mitsui & Co, in Tokyo, with first deliveries due in August 1992.
A Military demonstrator (N230CN) was leased for six months by Chilean Navy 1993-94, equipped for shipboard evaluation with Indal ASIST deck recovery system, auxiliary fuel tanks, Breeze Eastern BL 1600 rescue hoist, AlliedSignal RDR 1500B radar, Teledyne AN/APX-101 transponder, AlliedSignal KHF-950 SSB transceiver, Magnavox AN/ARC-164 UHF, Rockwell AN/ARC-186 VHF, Spectrolab SX-5 Starburst searchlight, Agema thermal imager in Heli-Dyne turret, Honeywell EDZ-705 EFIS with SPZ-7000 AFCS, Trimble TNL 7880 GPS/Omega and Flight Visions FV2000 HUD.
The first 50 aircraft were powered by two Allison 250-C30G2 turboshafts, each rated at 522kW for 5 minutes for T-O, 464kW maximum continuous, 581kW OEI for 2.5 minutes and 553kW OEI for 30 minutes. Main transmission rated at 690kW for T-O, 652.5kW maximum continuous and 548kW for single-engined operation. Usable fuel capacity 935 litres in skid gear version, 710 litres in wheeled version. Optional 182 litres of auxiliary fuel for both versions.
Equipped with a two-blade main rotor with stainless steel spars and leading-edges, Nomex honeycomb trailing-edge with glass fibre skin, and glass fibre safety straps; tail rotor blades stainless steel. Aluminium alloy fuselage with integral tailboom and some honeycomb panels. The landing gear is a tubular skid type on Utility version. Executive version to have hydraulically retractable tricycle gear, single mainwheels retracting forward into sponsons; forward-retracting nosewheel fully castoring and self-centring; hydraulic disc brakes on main units.
Controls are fully powered hydraulic, with elastomeric pitch change and flapping bearings; fixed tailplane with leading-edge slats and endplate fins; strakes under sponsons; single-pilot IFR system without autostabilisation.
Standard layout has forward-facing seats for nine persons (2-2-2-3) including pilot(s). Options include eight-seat executive (rear six in club layout), six-seat executive (rear four in club layout with console between each pair), or 10-seat utility (2-2-3-3, all forward-facing). Customised Emergency Medical Service (EMS) versions also available, configured for pilot-only operation plus one or two pivotable stretchers and four or three medical attendants/sitting casualties respectively. Two forward-opening doors each side. Entire interior ram air ventilated and soundproofed. Dual controls optional.
The main and tail rotors substantially same as Bell 222, former having Wortmann 090 blade section with 8 per cent thickness/chord ratio and swept tips. Independent (hydraulic) rotor brake. Short span sponson each side of fuselage houses mainwheel units and fuel tanks, and serves as work platform.
Preliminary design began in 1991 for a four-blade rotor, higher-powered and stretched variant of Bell 230, The programme was launched in February 1992 and two prototypes were modified from Bell 230 airframes: first prototype (C-GBLL; wheel-equipped) flown 25 October 1994; second prototype (C-GEXP; skid-equipped, with complete avionics suite) flown 19 December 1994. The first flight of a production 430 (C-GRND) was in 1995 and deliveries began on 25 June 1996 after Canadian type approval on 23 February.
The second production aircraft, N4300 circumnavigated the world in a record time of 17 days 6 hours 14 minutes, landing back at Fairoaks, UK, on 3 September 1996.
Neiman Marcus Special Edition was introduced in 2001 for Neiman Marcus store's 75th Christmas catalogue, featuring three-colour custom metallic exterior paint scheme with NM signature. Italian leather and rosewood interior, sculpted carpets with NM logo, passenger refreshment centre, Blaupunkt AM/FM/CD entertainment centre. JetMap cabin information system with moving map displays on two ceiling-mounied monitors. Motorola cellphone and two computer ports.
The first delivery, on 25 June 1996, was the sixth production aircraft (N6282X) handed over to IPTN (now Dirgantara) of Indonesia in eight-seat executive configuration. Thirteen were delivered in 1996; followed by eight, 15 and 18 in 1997-99, 11 in 2000, 14 in 2001 and seven in 2002.
Optimised for high cruising speed with (retractable) wheel landing gear, although traditional skids optional; inclined towards executive transport market. Bell 230 fuselage lengthened by 0.46m plug; Bell 680 all-composites four-blade bearingless, hingeless main rotor; approximately 10% power increase over Bell 230; uprated transmission; and optional EFIS. Short-span sponson each side of fuselage houses mainwheel units and fuel tanks, and serves as work platform.
Fully powered hydraulic, with elastomeric pitch change and flapping bearings; fixed tailplane with leading-edge slats and endplate fins; strakes under sponsons; single-pilot IFR system without auto-stabilisation.
Semi-monocoque fuselage of light alloy, with limited use of light alloy honeycomb panels. Fail-safe structure in critical areas. One-piece nosecone tilts forward and down for access to avionics and equipment bay. Short span cantilever sponson set low on each side of fuselage, serving as main landing gear housings, fuel tanks and work platforms. Section NACA 0035. Dihedral 3deg 12min. Incidence 5deg. Sweepback at quarter-chord 3deg 30min.
Fixed vertical fin in sweptback upper and lower sections. Tailplane, with slotted leading-edge and endplate fins, mounted midway along rear fuselage. Small skid below ventral fin for protection in tail-down landing. Four-blade main rotor with stainless steel spars and leading-edges. Nomex honeycomb trailing-edge with glass fibre skin, and glass fibre safety straps; tail rotor blades stainless steel. Rotors shaft-driven through gearbox with rwo spiral bevel reductions and one planetary reduction. Main blade and hub life, 10.000 hours.
Tubular skid type on Utility version. Executive version has hydraulically retractable tricycle gear, single mainwheels retracting forward into sponsons; forward-retracting nosewheel fully castoring and self-centring; hydraulic disc brakes on main units. Mainwheel tyre size 18x5.5, nosewheel 5.00-5. Emergency floats optional.
Two Rolls-Royce 250-C40B turboshafts, each rated at 603kW for T-O and 518kW maximum continuous. OEI ratings 701kW for 30 seconds, 656kW for 2 minutes, 623kW for 30 minutes and 602kW continuous. Chandler Evans FADEC. Transmission rating 779kW for 5 minutes for T-O, 737kW maximum continuous. Power train TBO, 5,000 hours. Usable fuel capacity 935 litres in skid version, 710 litres in wheeled version; provision in both versions for 182 litre auxiliary tank. Fuel system is rupture resistant, with self-sealing breakaway fittings.
Standard layout has forward-facing seats for nine persons (two-two-two-three) including pilot. Options include 10-seat layout (two-two-three-three); eight-scat executive (rear six in club layout), six-seat executive (rear four in club layout with console between each pair); and five- and four-seat executive with one or two refreshment cabinets; seat pitches vary between 86cm and 91cm. Pilots on crashworthy (energy attenuating) seats, which are optional for passengers. Customised emergency medical service (EMS) versions also available, configured for pilot-only operation plus one or two pivotable stretchers and four or three medical attendants/sitting casualties respectively. Two forward-opening doors each side; EMS version has optional stretcher door between forward and rear doors on port side. Entire interior ram air ventilated and soundproofed. Dual controls optional.
Standard equipment includes rotor and cargo tiedowns, ground handling wheels for skid version, retractable 450W search/landing light. Options include dual controls, auxiliary fuel tankage, force/feel trim system, more comprehensive nav/com avionics, 272kg capacity rescue hoist, 1587kg capacity cargo hook, emergency flotation gear, heated windscreen, particle separator and snow baffles.
The programme cost US$18 million, 35% financed by Canadian Defence Industry Productivity Program (DIPP) and repayable as royalty on each sale.
Engine: 2 x Allison 250-C30G/2, 720 shp each, dual max: 690 kW.
Instant pwr: 520 kW.
Rotor dia: 13.8 m.
Empty wt: 2270 kg.
MTOW: 3813 kg.
Payload: 1472 kg.
Useful load: 1270 kg.
Max speed: 140 kts.
Vne: 150 kts.
Max cruise: 135 kts.
Max range: 705 km.
HIGE (@MAUW): 12,400 ft.
HOGE (@MAUW): 7300 ft.
Service ceiling: 14,100 ft.
Opt fuel cap: 1359 lt
Rescue hoist capacity: 136kg
Cargo hook capacity: 1,270kg
Engine: Allison 250-C40.
Instant pwr: 582 kW.
Rotor dia: 13.8 m.
MTOW: 5443 kg.
Max cruise: 135 kts.
Vne: 150 kts.
Max range: 705 km.