The PRATT & WHITNEY Canada PW206D turbo-shaft engine has been selected by Bell Helicopter Textron to power its new light twin, the Bell 427.

The 450kW (600shp) PW206D was chosen over the Allison Model 250-C22+ and the Turbomeca Arrius 2 to power the new light twin-turbine rotorcraft being developed by Bell and South Korea's Samsung Aerospace. Certification is due in late 1998.

The 427, is intended to be a rival for the Eurocopter EC135 and McDonnell Douglas MD Explorer. A 1995 price of $1.9 million has been set for the derivative of the new light single-turbine Bell 407, deliveries of which began early this year.

The helicopter has a 2,725kg gross weight and includes the 407's four-blade composite main rotor, with diameter increased by 600mm, to 11.3m. The 407 fuselage, is being stretched by 330mm, to provide room for a larger fuel tank. It will accommodate a pilot and seven passengers.

Samsung Aerospace will be the sole-source manufacturer of Bell 427 cabins and tailbooms. The flight dynamics will be built by Bell in Fort Worth, Texas with final assembly, to take place at the company's commercial products manufacturing centre at Mirabel, Quebec, Canada.

The South Korean firm will conduct assembly and completion at its Sachon plant for aircraft sold in South Korea and China.

Bell originally planned a twin-turbine version of the 407, dubbed the 407T and based on the present 206LT, but the concept was scrapped because of payload/range limitations.

Source: Flight International