At a pre-Heli-Expo press briefing yesterday in Las Vegas, Bell Helicopters president and CEO John Garrison announced the company’s latest Bell 412 version, the 412EPI, with new bells and whistles and the promise of better performance.
The 412EPI boasts an integrated glass flight deck named Bell BasiX Pro, which provides single-pilot IFR capabilities and incorporates the Garmin GTN 750 touchscreen navigators with four 10.4-inch LCD displays. Electronic charts and approach plates, WAAS, ADS-B transponder and optional HTAWS are just a few capabilities offered by the BasiX Pro package.
The Pratt & Whitney PT6-9 Twin Pac engines that power the 412EPI produce about 15 percent more shaft horsepower compared with the 412EP power plants, said Garrison. “Overall it gives the aircraft much more capability especially in high, hot performance,” he said.
The 412EPI is being launched as an STC version of the 412 and will be moved into a production STC over time, Garrison said. Bell already holds the STC certification, but the first delivery of the 412EPI is not expected until next year, said Danny Maldonado, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Bell Helicopters. Maldonado said the price of the 412EPI is $10.4 million, $600,000 more than the 412EP.
Moving forward, Bell will continue to offer the 412EP. “Some people are going to want to go to the glass cockpit, other customers want the existing platform because that is what they have in their fleet,” said Garrison.