bell 407 operating cost per hour

The Bell 407 Operating Cost Per Hour computes at $608 per hour, which is $25 higher than the Airbus H125 ($583 per hour). So what the is the bell 407 price and the best bell 407 specs?

For thousands of years, humanity envied a bird’s ability to get aloft right on the spot. Even when we figured out how to make heavier-than-air machines fly, we couldn’t fly freely in any direction like our avian counterparts can. It would take three decades after the Wright Brothers’ first flight to realize our closest approximation: what we today call the helicopter.

Some of these metal birds have impacted our lives in ways we instantly recognize; others have a lesser-known legacy.

Bell 407 Operating Cost Per Hour


bell 407 specs


The BELL 407, manufactured from 1996 – Present, requires a 1 person crew and can transport up to 5 passengers. The aircraft has a maximum operating altitude of 20,000′, a normal cruise speed of 123 KTS/142 MPH, and a 245 NM/282 SM seats-full range. The BELL 407 has a 00′ balanced field length and 00′ landing distance. The cabin measures 04’02” high, 04’09” wide, and 05’00” long. It has a total baggage capacity of 23.00 ft^3; 03.00 ft^3 being internal and 20.00 ft^3 being external.


bell 407 price


Depending on numerous factors, the average price for a pre-owned BELL 407 is $2,020,000.00. A $1,010,000.00 loan over 120 months including $4208.33 per month in interest equates to a $50,645.15 per-period payment. Based on 450 annual owner-operated hours and $4.25-per-gallon fuel cost, the BELL 407 has total variable costs of $301,320.00, total fixed costs of $196,467.50, and an annual budget of $497,787.50. This breaks down to $1,106.19 per hour.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (September 13, 2010) Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has significantly reduced direct operating costs for 407 operators by removing a series of life limited parts in its maintenance manual.     As part of an ongoing effort to reduce direct maintenance costs on the Bell 407, a team of engineers has reevaluated life limited items listed in Maintenance Manual Chapter 4 to ensure operators are able to take full advantage of Bell products and more effectively operate their aircraft.  

Bell 407GXP | Business Jet Traveler

“Bell Helicopters are used around the globe to perform noble missions, and it is our goal to provide our customers with the safest, most reliable and cost-effective mission solution,”   said Danny Maldonado, senior vice president and chief service officer. “We recognize the importance of direct maintenance costs to ensuring a profitable mission for our customers. Through this effort we are able to reduce the cost of operating and maintaining the aircraft, without compromising safety.”  Bell has removed 14 items from the life limited section of the 407 Maintenance Manual. The removal of these items plus an adjustment to the on-condition section will result in a reduction of more than 12 percent per flight hour to the published direct maintenance cost estimate, while maintaining the highest life level of stress margin.   A revision to the Bell 407 Maintenance Manual (Chapter 4) has been published on the website.      “At Bell we are on a mission to make our customers successful. We are making every effort to ensure our aircraft remain competitive in the marketplace and that Bell operators are fully supported throughout the entire lifecycle of their aircraft,” said Maldonado.    “This, combined with the recently released power-plus STC, is one more example of Bell’s continuing effort to add value to our customers’ mission through increased performance and operational cost savings at no cost to them,” said Larry D. Roberts, senior vice president commercial business.  Bell Helicopter added performance capabilities on the 407 at no additional cost to the customer with the 407 Plus Power Program. This is an STC that draws on excess power available from the 407’s Rolls-Royce 250-C47B engine allowing an increase of the 407’s useful load by more than 400 pounds. Bell is pursuing further enhancements for this proven performer. Earlier this year, Bell Helicopter and the 407 reached a milestone few others have achieved with the delivery of the 1,000th aircraft out of its Mirabel, Canada facility. That ship is finishing completion at Bell affiliate, Edwards & Associates; customer acceptance is expected in early fourth quarter.     

Bell 407 - Wikipedia

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. 

The Bell 407 reminds me of a Mercedes Sprinter van. It’s a vehicle with amazing versatility that can be used for virtually any mission: ambulance, cargo, law enforcement, firefighting, military scout and gunship, offshore oil support, utility and, of course, executive transport. And it does it all with legendary durability and good economy, characteristics generally not associated with things with rotor blades that fly.

You can obtain a very nice used one for less than $1.5 million (new and nicely equipped they still cost less than $3 million) and for that you get a lot: a service ceiling of 17,900 feet (fully loaded); the ability to carry the pilot and up to six passengers (five in executive configuration) 251 nautical miles; a cabin that is eight inches wider than that in a Bell 206; respectable 128-knot cruise speed; and better fuel economy than some smaller single-engine turbine helicopters offer. The 407 also can be equipped for foul-weather flight under instrument flight rules (IFR).

Bell introduced the 407 in 1996 and more than 1,100 are currently in service. Over the years, strikingly little has been changed on the helicopter yet it continues to sell well, mainly because of its durability and the manufacturer’s excellent product support. Fleet operators such as air-ambulance provider Air Methods and offshore-oil-service company PHI routinely fly this helicopter hard and it just seems to keep coming back for more. Using a driving analogy, from a pilot’s point of view, you can beat on this thing like a pickup truck but it still handles like a sports car.

The 700-horsepower Rolls-Royce 250-C47 turboshaft engine has plenty of reserve power for getting out of tight spots. The 407 not only climbs higher than most other turbine singles, it also bests some twins. “As operators of the 407 know, we are very conservative with [statements about] the power of our aircraft,” said Bell program manager Steve Mildenstein. In 2010 Bell began offering 407 operators a “Plus Power” supplemental type certificate that allows them to carry up to 400 pounds of additional useful load to tap “the full capability of the engine.” In addition, Rolls-Royce is offering a “VIP” engine upgrade kit that also boosts power output. While “Plus Power” is largely a paperwork exercise, the Rolls kit does require replacement of certain components, typically during an engine overhaul. Another modification is in the works that would allow operators to replace the Rolls engine with a far more powerful one from Honeywell.

Bell 407

BELL 407

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Rotorcraft

Cabin Size: 84 cu ft

Range: Not Provided

Price (New): $3.1M

The stock 407 takes the basic fuselage of a stretched Bell JetRanger called the 206L4, widens it, and mates it to an all-composite, four-bladed main rotor system similar to the one Bell developed for the Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout/attack helicopter. The rotor disc diameter is 35 feet. The 407 will fit into a standard small aircraft hangar–barely. The 407 also gets a carbon fiber tailboom that is lightweight and robust. The addition of two more rotor blades allows the 407 to climb higher and haul more than the two-bladed 206L4 and provide a smoother ride. They also add to the maintenance requirements and direct operating costs of the helicopter. In addition to the wider cabin, the passenger windows are more than one-third larger than on the standard five-seat 206.

The extra eight inches of cabin width in the 407 yield 54.8 inches across. Compared with the 206, that makes a big difference, providing enough room to enable the helicopter to be used for medevac operations and to accommodate larger pilots and passengers. Last year I had the opportunity to fly in a 407 after having had experience in a 206 and the space increase was welcome and noticeable. The 407’s cabin still is not as wide as that on a Eurocopter AStar (65 inches), but for most applications it is good enough.

What still is not good enough on the 407 is the baggage space at a mere 16 cubic feet–basically a small cube suitable for computer, small duffel and rollaway bags.

Because so few changes have been made to factory 407s over the years, most of the used ships out there have been highly modified to accommodate owners’ individual tastes and missions. For years, Mildenstein admits, Bell dropped the ball when it came to ­incremental product improvement from the factory. However, aftermarket completion centers were more than willing to take up the slack.

For used-helicopter buyers, the biggest upgrade item is modern, glass-panel avionics. A variety of companies provide and install these components. Jim Darr, operations manager of United Rotorcraft Solutions (URS) in Decatur, Texas, said that lately his customers are gravitating to the Garmin G500H system and related components such as traffic and terrain-avoidance systems, satellite weather and multifunction display. Darr noted that you can install a well-provisioned G500H in a 407 for around $83,000. URS also provides glass-panel retrofit solutions from Chelton, Sagem and other manufacturers.

Buyers of used 407s may be interested in other items as well, such as new paint and executive interior, pop-out emergency floats and air conditioning. Together these items will ring the register at around $140,000. A typical executive interior consists of four facing club seats with the usual cabinetry and cup-holder conveniences. Darr said some of his customers also are opting for in-flight entertainment systems. However, the 407 is essentially a two-hour helicopter and most flights are far shorter than that. Odds are, if you start a movie, you’ll miss the ending.

But you will remember the flight. For multi-mission capability at a reasonable price, the 407 is hard to beat.

What is the most dangerous helicopter?

According to various sources, some of the world’s best, and most dangerous, attack helicopters include, but are not limited to: 

  1. The Russian Ka-52 “Alligator”
  2. The American AH-64 “Apache”
  3. The Russian Mi-28N “Havoc”
  4. The European Eurocopter (Airbus) Tiger
  5. The Chinese CAIC Z-10
  6. The Italian/Turkish TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK
  7. The Russian Mi-24 Hind
  8. The American AH-1Z Viper

What is the newest attack helicopter?

There are various new attack helicopters in development, but some of the most interesting are the Lockheed Martin “RAIDER” and the Sikorsky-Boeing “Defiant”

We’ll talk more about the “Defiant” a little later in this article, so for now, we’ll focus on the “RAIDER”.

interesting helicopter Raider
Source: Lockheed Martin

Touted as a “next-generation light tactical prototype helicopter”, the RAIDER has been designed to carry up to six personnel, and carries a range of external weapons that will “redefine helicopter flight during the 21st century”.

This chopper is based on the Sikorsky’s Collier Award-winning X2 Technology, and features advances in fly-by-wire, flight controls, vehicle management systems, and systems integration.

Such innovations enable the “RAIDER” to operate at high speeds and also maintain low-speed handling qualities and maneuverability of conventional single main rotor helicopters. The prototype has been clocked at 222 knots (407 km/h) and can operate at a ceiling of 10,000 feet (3,048 meters)

Designed to meet and exceed the requirements of the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA), the “RAIDER” could potentially be applied to U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps missions.

According to Lockheed Martin, “the X2 Technology at the heart of the Raider helicopter is scalable to a variety of military missions including light assault, light attack, armed reconnaissance, close-air support, combat search and rescue, and unmanned applications.”

interesting helicopters Raider
Source: Lockheed Martin

What are some of the most interesting helicopters?

And so, without further ado, here are some of the most interesting helicopters ever designed. Trust us when we say this list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.

1. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is one of a kind

interesting helicopters chinook
RAF CH-47 Chinook. Source: Airwolfhound/Flickr

One of the most iconic helicopters of all time is the Boeing CH-47 Chinook. First flown in 1961, this tandem rotor helicopter is a true workhorse of the skies. 

Designed as a heavy-lifter chopper, each of its 60-foot (18.3 m) rotor blades rotate in opposite directions, providing counter-acting torque and eliminating the need for a tail rotor.

The Chinook is specially designed to be able to independently adjust each rotor to enable it to adapt to the weight of different cargos. She was a development of the older Model 107 (CH-46) and saw service in Vietnam transporting troops, heavy artillery, and other supplies where needed. 

Since then, this helicopter has proved to be an invaluable asset to many militaries around the world. She also happens to hold the record as the third-fastest chopper around — the lastest CH-47F can reach a top speed of just over 195 mph (315 km per hour)

2. The Sikorsky H-60 “Black Hawk” Helicopter is an icon of American airpower

interesting helicopters black hawk
Source: Lockheed Martin

First flown in 1974, the Sikorsky H-60 “Black Hawk” is another iconic helicopter. It also happens to be a pretty mean looking machine. Named after a Native American warrior, it officially entered service in 1979 as the U.S. Army’s latest assault/utility chopper.

Since then, more than 4,000 units have been produced and they operate for various armed forces around the world including Japan, Turkey, Israel, and Columbia, to name but a few. The helicopter became world-famous after the 2001 blockbuster film “Black Hawk Down”. 

3. The Russian Mil Mi-24 “Hind” is possibly one of the best military helicopters ever built

interesting helicopters hind
Source: Airwolfhound/Flickr

Built during the Soviet-era, the Mil Mi-24 “Hind” is one of the coolest-looking helicopters ever built. She was designed to meet the Soviet requirement for a heavily armed and armored transporter helicopter and has become one of the most iconic choppers of all time.

The “Hind” first flew in 1969 and entered service in 1972. It went on to serve in various combat arenas over the following decades. The Mil Mi-24 is powered by 2 Isotov TV3-117 series turbine engines, each pumping out an incredible 2,200 hp.

Her armaments can vary, but typically a “Hind” is equipped with a four-barreled 12.7mm Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B gatling gun improved through the installation of a 30mm GSh-30K twin-barrel, fixed cannon. Depending on mission needs, she can be fitted with a 23mm GSh-23L cannon in a powered turret. She can also be armed with machine gun pods, anti-tank missiles, and rocket pods. 

4. The Bell 222A was the helicopter used in Airwolf

interesting helicopters airwolf
Still from the 1980s series Airwolf. Source: IMDB

The Bell 222A might seem like an odd choice, given some of the earlier listings, but bear with us. For any American child of the 1980s, the Bell 222A is probably one of the most recognizable helicopters of all for one reason — It was the helicopter used in the highly-popular series Airwolf

It is sleek, dare we say sexy, and really is a lovely-looking helicopter. Designed for civilian use, the Bell 222A is powered by 2 Honeywell LTS-1010-650 engines. This helicopter has a range of 230 nautical miles (425 km) and a service ceiling of 12,800 feet (3,900 mt). It can carry a crew of 2 and has seating occupancy for up to 5 passengers.

5. The Soviet V-12 is often cited as the biggest helicopter to ever have been built

interesting helicopters homer
Mil V-12 at Groningen Airport circa 1971. Source: GFDL/Wikimedia Commons

The Soviet-era Mil V-12 (Mi-12) is probably the world’s biggest-ever helicopter. Known to NATO as “Homer”, this helicopter was designed, among other things, to transport ICBMs. 

Unfortunately for the V-12, by the time it was ready for service, its main purpose was redundant and it never went into production. The idea behind this monster-chopper was to transport missiles in secret to remote bases wherever and whenever needed.

She first flew in 1968, and was longer than a Boeing 737 and could carry more people. It could also carry somewhere in the region of 88,000 pounds (almost 40,000 kg) of cargo. 

As US satellites become more advanced, and ICBMs became lighter, the Soviets found it more cost-effective to transport them by truck instead. 

6. The Focke-Wulf FW-61 was the world’s first

interesting helicopters fw
Source: Born2flie/Wikimedia Commons

First taking to the air in 1936, the Focke-Wulf FW-61 is generally regarded as the world’s first-ever helicopter. Designs for it began in the early 1930s and were inspired by autogyros developed by the British company Cierva Autogiro. 

A working model was produced in the mid-1930s, exploring the use of twin-rotors with articulated rotor blades. Each rotor had three blades that employed cyclic pitch — a key feature of helicopter control.

Two full-scale prototypes were built and showcased but the vehicle never went into production. No known originals exist today, but a replica can be found on display a the Hubschraubermuseum in Bückeburg, Germany.

7. The Bell 47 was the first helicopter certified for civilian use

interesting helicopters bell 47
Source: Peter Bakema/Wikimedia

First taking to the air in 1945, the Bell 47 was the first helicopter ever certified for use by civilians. The chopper became a workhorse of the Korean war and beyond, and was made famous by the T.V. series M.A.S.H.

Based on the design for the earlier Bell Model 30, the Bell 47 was first approved for civil use by the CAA in 1946. It was powered by a single Lycoming six-cylinder piston engine, and 18 variants of the helicopter were designed and built over the years. 

Today, thousands of them are still airworthy. 

8. The Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne could have been an excellent helicopter 

interesting helicopters ah-56
Source: Hohum/Wikimedia Commons

Another fascinating helicopter is the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne. Widely considered to have been a masterful piece of helicopter design, it never actually saw combat.

A revolutionary attack helicopter, it was once thought that it would revolutionize warfare forever. Sadly that was never to be.

She was developed to meet the United States Army’s desire for an advanced helicopter and was born out of a ten-year contract for Lockheed to prototype choppers. It made its first flight in 1967 and proved to have impressive performance and power. It had a top speed of somewhere in the region of just over 244 mph (394 km/h) and could be armed with an XM-140 30 mm cannon, various anti-tank missiles, and missile pods. 

A fatal crash, technical issues, excessive weight, and cost overruns, as well as a change in military planning, eventually led to the program being canceled. 

9. The Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant is another very fast helicopter

interesting helicopters defiant
The SB-1 is very fast indeed. Source: Boeing-Sikorsky/YouTube

On the cards to replace the aging UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, the SB-1 Defiant is one hell of a helicopter. Currently in its prototype stage, the SB-1 Defiant recently hit a major speed milestone by reaching 236 mph (380 km/h).

A compound coaxial helicopter, this impressive speed was made using only 50% of the chopper’s potential power. In the following months, it is hoped to really push the helicopter to its limits. 

Its manufacturers are confident it should be able to reach a speed of 290 mph (466km/h). This is well above the U.S. Army’s cruise speed requirements for its Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program. The Defiant is currently in competition with Bell’s new V-2380 Valor advanced tiltrotor, which has reached eye-watering speeds of 345 mph (555 km/h). 

10. The first jet-powered helicopter was the Aerospatiale SA-313 Alouette II

interesting helicopters SA-313
Source: Airwolfhound/Wikimedia Commons

Taking its first flight in 1955, the Aerospatiale SA-313 is a very interesting helicopter indeed. Developed by the then French state-owned Sud Aviation, various rotary designs were trialed before settling on the design used in the SA-313.

Although a very capable and fast helicopter, Sud Aviation decided to include a single shaft turbine from another design, the X.301G. This resulted in the Alouette II becoming the world’s first production jet-powered helicopter.

Adding to this interesting design choice, the helicopter immediately began setting records. It managed to reach an altitude of 26,392 feet (8 km) in June of 1956, when it was used to perform a mountain rescue in the Alps. 

The helicopter would go on to serve in many armed forces around the world, and more than 1,500 were built. It also became the first helicopter to be equipped with anti-tank munitions. 

11. The Bell AH-1 Cobra was the world’s first dedicated attack helicopter

interesting helicopters cobra
Source: + -/Wikimedia Commons

Nothing symbolizes pure aggression more than this, first-ever dedicated attack helicopter. The Bell AH-1 Cobra first flew in 1965 and would set the standard for all attack helicopters that would follow.

It was born out of the U.S. Army’s desire for a heavily armored and fast helicopter as part of its Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFS). With its narrow forward fuselage, stub wings, and fighter jet-like stepped-up tandem seating, it was like nothing ever seen before.

Quite a few of its components were borrowed from the UH-1 Huey, like its main rotor, engine, and tail boom. The “Cobra” would first see action in the 1968 Tet offensive, where it performed perfectly.

The AH-1 is still in service for the U.S. Marine Corps today along with its younger sibling the Viper

12. Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8 is the first fully autonomous helicopter

interesting helicopters mq-8
Source: Northrop Grumman

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8 first flew in 2002, and it is the first autonomous helicopter deployed en masse. First used aboard the US Navy frigate, McInerney, the MQ-8 is an autonomous, unmanned, rotary-wing scout aircraft.

Arising from the need to replace the aging RQ-2 Pioneer fixed-wing UAV, the Navy required similar capabilities in a larger, unmanned, vertical takeoff launch and recovery scout. The Navy chose Northrop Grumman’s design, as it met the Navy’s need for range, endurance, and payload (125 NM/3 hours/200 lbs).

The MQ-8, also known as the Fire Scout/Sea Scout, has seen action in Afghanistan and Africa, and been launched from Frigates, Littoral Combat Ships, and Coast Guard cutters. A single Fire Scout set a world record in 2012 when it provided intelligence, surveillance, recon (ISR) coverage for 24-hours over the course of ten flights. 

13. The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (“Huey”) is one of the most iconic of all time

interesting helicopter huey
Source: Museum of Flight

First flying in 1956, the Bell UH-1 Iroquois (“Huey”) is probably one of the world’s best-known helicopters. Cementing its place in history during the Vietnam war, when people think of helicopters, the “Huey” is probably the first to spring to mind.

It is estimated that somewhere in the region of 16,000 military (UH-1Y) and civilian (Bell 412) craft have been built to date, and it is still in production.

Initially called the Bell 204, this two-blade main rotor, single shaft turbine-powered helicopter was designed to meet the Army’s need for a medical evacuation/instrument trainer/general utility helicopter.

While officially called the “Iroquois”, the moniker “Huey” came from its early HU-1 designation. Throughout its history, the “Huey” has seen action in many parts of the world, performing firefighting missions, humanitarian aid efforts, research operations, and search and rescue duties.

14. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is awesome

interesting helicpters osprey
Source: FOX 52/Wikimedia Commons

First flying in the late-1980s and entering service in 2007, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is another very interesting helicopter. Combining the vertical lift capabilities of a helicopter, with the fast-cruise forward flight efficiencies of a fixed-wing turboprop aircraft, the V-22 Osprey officially went into development in the mid-1980s.

By 1989, six prototypes had been built, but the program had a serious setback in the early-1990s when the fourth prototype crashed. The Osprey was approved for full production in 2005, and by 2012, between 24 to 48 were being built each year.

The V-22 has greater speed, range, and lift capability over more conventional helicopters, and can operate easily from ships. This craft is very versatile and carries troops, supplies, weapons, and vehicles wherever they are needed.

It comes armed with 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine guns and can have a 7.62 mm minigun mounted on its ramp. Plans are in place to put a Gatling gun in the nose of future models, as well as, adding the capacity to carry air-to-ground missile launchers. 

The Osprey has seen action all over the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also regularly used for humanitarian missions and has been used in Haiti and Nepal. 

15. The Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe is a very funny looking helicopter

interesting helicopters skycrane
Source: Mark Holloway/Wikimedia Commons

Another interesting, but perhaps lesser-known helicopter is the Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe. Also known as the Skycrane or flying insect, the CH-54 was a heavy load cargo carrier.

First entering service in 1962, its unusual design made it a very versatile helicopter that had various uses, including recovery, rescue, infantry transport, medical supply, and even armored transport operations.

Powered by a pair of Pratt and Whitney T73-P-700 turboshaft engines, the helicopter also came with a crane in the center of its fuselage. The helicopter cut its teeth in the Vietnam war and was widely considered one of the safest to fly. 

It was capable of transporting heavy ground vehicles, as well as containers, and parts for engineering projects like bridges and fortifications with its maximum payload of 12 tonnes. The Skycrane was officially retired from military service in 1991, but continues to be used for government and civilian operations. 

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