Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopters and Fuji Heavy Industries have received a $3.02 billion deal to create a fleet of military transport aircraft that would be sold internationally. This project will take place over the course of 27 years, beginning in 2021. It will replace 150 of Japan’s aging fleet of troop-carrying Huey helicopters that have been used since the time before the Vietnam War.
According to the Bell Helicopter president and CEO John Garrisons,
“The Fuji-Bell selection is a significant win for FHI and Bell Helicopter, and today's contract enables the Fuji-Bell team to initiate the developmental program, including collaboration on the design and industrialization of the aircraft, while setting a path to first flight of a prototype that will meet the JGSDF's specifications. Bell Helicopter has a long-standing relationship with FHI and history of successful co-development in Japan, and we look forward to continuing to serve this important customer for many years to come with the best products and service in the industry."
The UH-X aircraft to be developed as the Fuji-Bell 412+ is based off of the Bell 412EPI twin-engine utility platform.
The Bell 124 has a VNE of 140 knots, cruises at 122 knots, exhibits a range of 364 nautical miles, and flies for a maximum endurance of 3.8 hours. In terms of ceiling altitudes, it has a service ceiling of 16,460 feet, a hover ceiling IGE of 11,350 feet, and an OGE of 6,600 feet. In terms of carrying capacities, the standard seating is 15 passengers, fuel is 331 US gallons, and auxiliary fuel is 163 US gallons. In terms of weight, the empty weight is 7,071 lbs, useful load is 4,829 lbs, and max gross weight is 11,900 lbs internal and 11,900 lbs external. The cargo hook capacity is 4,500 lbs.
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