From The Archives: Bell, Iran Developing New Helicopter

Bell Helicopter Textron collaborated with Iranian government, as we reported in 1978, to build 4,500 rotary wing aircraft for the commercial market as well as military. The aircraft was set to be a 19-place 214-ST (Super Transport). 

Erwin J. Bulban writes how the civil segment "include foreign government agencies which would have a variety of applications including maritime reconnaissance, border patrol, search and rescue and nationalized resources development, offshore and onshore." 

The idea for the 214-ST was borne out of a collaborative Bell-Iranian development program involving a testbed aircraft which had accumulated more than 200 flight hours. Bulban informs us that the testbed was a stretched 214-4A with two General Electric T700 engines. The project costs were said to be split approximately 50-50. 

Read more about the design of the aircraft, including the windshield design, new fuselage, a possible four-wheel landing gear, and the rotor system blades made of all-glass filament-wound construction that would be "noticeably superior in aerodynamic performance".


If you're a subscriber, you can read the full article which was published on page 62 of the May 29, 1978 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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