Bell Helicopter Tests 412EPI Near Mount Everest

Demonstration flights show off helicopter’s high-altitude capabilities.

Bell Helicopter 412EPI
Bell tested the 412EPI near Mount Everest this week, demonstrating takeoffs and landings at 15,200 feet.Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter put its multi-mission 412EPI helicopter to the ultimate test this week near Mount Everest in Nepal. Bell demonstration pilots showed off takeoffs and landings at 15,200 feet, hovered in ground effect at nearly 18,000 feet density altitude and proceeded to climb as high as 20,000 feet pressure altitude in the medium-size helicopter, which is capable of carrying up to 14 passengers.

“The Bell 412EPI received praise for its smooth ride, maneuverability and increased performance in high altitudes, proving that our products are built to perform in the highest terrain on the planet,” said Sameer Rehman, Bell’s managing director, Asia Pacific.

The 412EPI is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s PT6T-9 Twin Pac engines, each producing up to 1,800 shp. The BLR Strake and FastFin system improves handling, safety and lift, according to Bell. The helicopter boasts a useful load of 4,829 pounds, a 220-cubic-foot cabin volume and a 7.7-foot-wide door, with multiple configurations for such missions as executive travel, oilrig service, search and rescue, and emergency medical services.

Bell’s BasiX Pro integrated flight deck with four 10.4-inch multifunction displays and a Garmin GTN 750 WAAS GPS/navcom make the pilots’ work easier whether flying VFR or IFR.