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Bell 222

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Bell 222/230
A Bell 222
Type Executive/utility helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter Textron
Maiden flight August 13, 1976
Introduced Bell 222: 1979
Bell 230: 1991
Produced Bell 222: 1980–1991
Bell 230: 1992–1995
Number built Bell 222 (184); 230 (38)[1]
Variants Bell 430

The Bell 222 is a twin-engined light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter Textron. The Bell 230 is an improved development with different engines and other changes.


In 1974, the new Bell 222 was announced by Bell. It was the first light commercial twin engine helicopter developed in the United States.[1]

The 222, which first flew on August 13, 1976, incorporated a number of advanced features including dual hydraulic and electrical systems, stub wings housing the retractable undercarriage, and the Noda Matic vibration reduction system developed for the 214ST. Certificated in December 1979, deliveries of the 222 began in early 1980.[1]

A Bell 222U

The more powerful Bell 222B was introduced in 1982 with a larger diameter main rotor. The 222B-based Bell 222UT Utility Twin, with skid landing gear, was introduced in 1983.[1]

A development of the 222 is the Bell 230, with the 222's LTS 101 engines replaced by two Allison 250 turboshafts, plus other refinements.

A converted 222 first flew as the prototype 230 on August 12 1991. Transport Canada awarded certification in March 1992, and the first production 230 was delivered that November. The 230 had optional skid or wheel undercarriage. Production ended in 1995 with 38 having been built, being replaced in Bell's lineup by the stretched, more powerful Bell 430.[1]


File:Lts101-750 bht222U aradecki.jpg
LTS-101-750 engine installation (left engine) in a 222U

The Bell 222 and 230 are usually flown single-pilot (optional dual controls are available), and can be configured for corporate/executive, EMS or utility transport missions. The aircraft have standard seating for eight, including pilot, in four rows. Alternative seting includes four in main cabin in club configuration.[1]


Engine output is 100% rated at 9598 RPM. Two independent drive shafts deliver power from the engines to the transmission.

The Bell 222's LST-engine exhaust stacks are located at the rear of the engines, while the 230's Allison-engine exhaust stacks are located high on the cowling.

Rotor systems

  • Two-blade, semi-rigid high-kinetic energy main rotor with preconing and underslinging. The rotor head incorporates elastomeric bearings for hub springs, flapping and pitch change bearings. The system is similar in design to that used by the AH-1 Cobra. Rotor speed at 100% engine speed is 348 RPM.
  • All series models incorporate a pusher-type two-bladed tailrotor mounted on the left side of the tailboom, turning at 3396 RPM


A London Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit Bell 222 fitted with a Marconi Heli-Teli in 1982
Bell 222 
The original Model 222, sometimes unofficially called a Bell 222A to distinguish it from the Bell 222B. It was powered by two (461kw takeoff rated, 441kW max continuous rated) Honeywell (formerly Lycoming) LTS-101-650C-3 turboshafts.
Bell 222B 
In 1982 the 222 was given a power upgrade (two 505kW (takeoff rated) Honeywell (formerly Lycoming) LTS-101-750Cs), a larger main rotor, and was renamed the Bell 222B.
Bell 222UT 
A 222B variant with skids, introduced in 1983.
File:Bell D-292.jpg
Bell D-292 ACAP demontrator
Bell D-292 
The Advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP) was a 1985 all-composite LHX proof of concept project. The Bell D-292 used the Avco Lycoming engines, transmission, two-bladed main and tail rotors, tailboom, vertical fin, and rotor pylon of the 222. The new airframe used composite materials in place of metal to provide greater strength, lighter weight, lower manufacturing costs, and reduce maintenance costs.[2]
Bell 230 
In 1991 the 222B design was updated, given more powerful engines, and renamed the Bell 230. Production ended in 1995.
Bell 222SP 
During the 1990s, a number of 222s were modified to use the 230's Allison engines as an after-market STC due to reliability issues with the Lycoming engines, and redesignated as 222SPs.
Bell 430 
Main article: Bell 430
In 1995 the Bell 430, a stretched 230 (adding another seating row), was launched, with more powerful engines and a four-bladed main rotor.


File:Bht222U rotorhead aradecki.jpg
Bell 222U rotor head and flight controls

In addition to the large number of civil operators, a small number of Bell 222 family helicopters have entered military service. One served with Albania from 1979 to 2001.


Model 222(A) 222B 222UT 230
Announced 1974 1982 1982 1990
First Flight August 13, 1976 1982 1983 August 12, 1991
Certified December 1979 August 1982 April 1983 March 1992
Delivered 1980 1982 1983 November 1992
Seats 2 (pilot & copilot) + 5–6 passengers
Height 11.68 ft (3.56 m) 12.17 ft (3.71 m) 11.68 ft (3.56 m)
Fuselage length 42.16 ft (12.85 m) 41.93 ft (12.78 m) 42.26 ft (12.88 m)
Rotor diameter 40.0 ft (12.2 m) 42.0 ft (12.80 m)
Length overall 49.54 ft (15.1 m) 50.26 ft (15.32 m)
Engine (2x) Lycoming LTS-101-650C-3 Lycoming LTS-101-750C Rolls-Royce 250-C30G/2
Power (2x) 618 hp (461 kW) 680 hp (505 kW) 700 hp (520 kW)
Max speed 130 kts (240 km/h) 135 kts (250 km/h) 140 kts (260 km/h)
Climb rate 1,580 ft/min (8.03 m/s) 1,730 ft/min (8.79 m/s) ~1,600 ft/min (8.13 m/s)
Service ceiling 12,800 ft (3,901 m) 15,800 ft (4,816 m) 15,500 ft (4,724 m)
Hover ceiling ~9,000 ft (2,743 m) 10,300 ft (3,139 m) 12,400 ft (3,780 m)
Fuel Capacity 188+48 US gal (710+182 L) 188+122 US gal (710+460 L) 188+ US gal (710+ L)
Range 324 nmi (~600 km) 378 nmi (~700 km) 386 nmi (~900 km) 378 nmi (~700 km)
Max Take-off Weight 4,555 lb (2,066 kg) 4,577 lb (2,076 kg) 4,537 lb (2,058 kg) 5,097 lb (2,312 kg)
Maximum Lift 7,848 lb (3,560 kg) 8,250 lb (3,742 kg) 8,400 lb (3,810 kg)
Serial Numbers 47001 – 47099 47131 – 47156 47501 – 47574 23001 – 23038
The first five were prototype/test models

Sources: [3][4][5][6]

File:Bht222U transmission aradecki.jpg
Transmission installation in a 222U

Popular culture

The Bell 222 is widely known from the TV series Airwolf which featured a modified 222A as the title character.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Frawley, Gerard: The International Directiory of Civil Aircraft, 2003-2004, Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2003. ISBN 1-875671-58-7 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Frawley Civil" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Bell D-292 ACAP. Retrieved on 2007-6-17.
  3. Bell 222 & 230 page on
  4. Bell helicopter tecnical data,
  5. Bell 222 technical data on
  6. Serial Numbers
  • Bell 222/230 Field Maintenance Training Manual
  • Bell 222U Rotorcraft Flight Manual

External links

Related content

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence

See also