Military Huey Reincarnated as the Civil Bell 210
FAA certification of the Bell 210, a single-turbine medium helicopter derived from the military UH-1H Huey, could happen this month, Bell CEO Mike Redenbaugh said at the Paris Air Show this week. “Our flight testing is complete, FAA pilots have flown the helicopter and now we’re just waiting for approval of the paperwork,” he added. Bell Helicopter begins with a refurbished UH-1H fuselage and adds Bell 212 dynamic components (main rotor hub and blades, tail rotor and accompanying support structure, transmission, rotating controls and tailboom) and an FAA-certified Honeywell T53-517B turboshaft engine. The result is a zero-time, commercial-off-the-shelf helicopter with a useful load of 5,000 pounds. “The 210 costs about $3 million and has direct operating costs of under $650 per hour,” said Redenbaugh. When the 210 first flew in December, Bell was estimating the helicopter’s direct operating costs would be about $530.