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Bell Model 417

hesham

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Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2006/02/27/205200/bell-launches-honeywell-hts900-powered-417-to-rival-eurocopter.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_407

(The ARH-70 armed reconnaissance helicopter, developed for
the U.S. Army was based on the 407, but was later canceled
on October 16, 2008.
The Bell 417 was a growth variant of the Bell 407, in essence
a civil version of the Bell ARH-70. The 417 made its first flight
on June 8, 2006. The 417 was to be powered by a Honeywell
HTS900 turboshaft engine, producing 970 shp (720 kW) and
includes full FADEC controls. The cabin will seat 5 passengers
in club-seating configuration, in addition to the crew of two.
The civilian 417 was canceled at Heli-Expo 2007 in Orlando).
 

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Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Bell ARH-70 Arapaho.

Source:
http://kr.blog.yahoo.com/shinecommerce/8458.html?p=1&t=3
 

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blackstar

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Nice images. It was either Defense News or Aviation Week that ran a good article about how come that program fell apart. It got insanely expensive, to the point where they were going to charge a lot of money for a helicopter that did not need to be that expensive. Lots of finger pointing by the Army, claiming that the contractor kept raising the price, and the contractor, claiming that the Army kept asking for the helo to do more and more.

I'm not sure, but the same thing may have happened with the USAF's CSAR competition, with the service asking for more and more until the costs reached a point they could no longer afford.
 

Stargazer2006

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It seems you guys getting confused between Models 407, 417 and 445, and the Wikipedia quote that hesham posted is ambiguous and doesn't really help... So, if I'm not mistaken:

  • The Model 407 was a proposed commercial helicopter looking basically like a modernized Jet Ranger The proof-of-concept demonstrator [N2770X, later N407LR] was a Model 206L-4 LongRanger. The yellow demonstrator in hesham's post is a Model 407.
  • The ARH demonstrator, seen in Triton's pics, has also been described as a Model 407 [N91796].
  • The Model 417 was to be a growth variant of the Bell 407, sometimes described as a civilian version of the ARH (which in itself is not clear since the ARH was supposed to be a military 407!). It was cancelled.
  • The Model 445 was the ARH-70A Arapaho, the all-military version for the Army that was cancelled after four prototypes were built [N44515, N44548, N445AR and N445HR].

Wikipedia is wrong on two counts: 1°) they give a first flight date for the Model 417 but then admit the project was cancelled. 2°) they give the production ARH (H-70) as another Model 407 while in fact it was Model 445.

EDITED: found pics of the Model 417. See below.
 

Stargazer2006

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Found pics of the Model 417. Apparently the story is more complicated than I thought. The ones that have "Bell 417" written on it show it on display at exhibitions or on the tarmac (not a sign that it actually flew), but two distinct helos are seen actually flying here, one registered N415AT another one registered N417TX. The registrations (always chosen with care where Bell is concerned) leave little doubt that at least the second one was a proper Model 417 prototype...
 

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turboshaft

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The sole 417 prototype was N417TX; N415AT is a standard 407 (note difference in engine stacks).

The so-called ARH demo aircraft (which had little in common with the four ARH-70A prototypes) has now been recycled into Fire-X.
 

Stargazer2006

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turboshaft said:
The sole 417 prototype was N417TX; N415AT is a standard 407 (note difference in engine stacks).
Thanks for clarifying this. I had a feeling this was the case but I needed confirmation.

turboshaft said:
The so-called ARH demo aircraft (which had little in common with the four ARH-70A prototypes) has now been recycled into Fire-X.
So they're actually doing the Fire-X ? Great ! It's also nice to see that failed prototypes get recycled! ;D
 

Stargazer2006

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I removed the wrong pics. Thanks to you both!
 
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