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Aircraft / Utility helicopters / Bell 212

Bell 212

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Transport helicopter

    United States

    UH-1N (US military service)
    Twin Two-Twelve (civilian designation)
    CH-135 Twin Huey (Canadian service)
    HP AH Mk1 (UK service)
    HU.18 (Spanish service)

    1968 - 1970


    1971 - 1990's

    Canada - Bell
    Italy - Agusta-Bell
    United States - Bell



    Increased power and speed over Bell 205
    Parts commonality with Bell 205
    Can perform emergency landing with one engine
    Reduced range and climb rate
    Increased complexity due to additional gearbox


The Bell 212 is a transport helicopter of US origin. It was developed in the mid 1960's in cooperation with the Canadian government. It is a follow on to the successful Bell 205. As with earlier Bell helicopters the Bell 212 was also produced under license in Italy as the AB-212. A further development of the Bell 212 is the Bell 412 with a four blade main rotor.


The Bell 212 is based on the long fuselage of the Bell 205. Whereas the Bell 205 was powered by a single large engine the Bell 212 has two smaller engines side by side. The two engines deliver their power to a combining gearbox which in turn is connected to the shaft. Many parts are interchangeable with the Bell 205, including most of the airframe and the main and tail rotor.


Most Bell 212 are unarmed or feature a 7.62mm machine gun in the doors. A small number has been fitted with gun and rocket pods, both in US service and for export sales. In Italy a special anti-submarine warfare version was developed. Most of these only carrried Mk 44 and Mk 46 torpedoes and AS-12 guided missiles. A limited number was fitted for anti-ship missiles such as the Sea Killer and Sea Skua.


The internal volume is similar to the Bell 205, resulting in a similar capacity of 13 troops or 6 stretchers. The 1.8 t internal load capacity and 2.3 t sling capacity are an improvement over the Bell 205. The ability to carry more weight is what made the Bell 212 a more practical candidate for ASW conversion than its predecessor.


The combined power output of the two turboshaft engines is more than that of the Bell 205, resulting in improved flight characteristics. The maximum speed is 269 km/h and cruise speed is 230 km/h. Only the range and climb rate have been slightly reduced. Should an engine fail the other engine is able to provide enough power for a safe landing, even at maximum weight.


The Bell 212 and AB-212 have been produced in large numbers, although not as much as the Bell 205. Still over 60 nations from every continent adopted the Bell 212 or its Italian counterpart. Many nations, including the USA, adopted the Bell 212 because of its parts and maintainance commonality with the previous Bell 204 and 205.


Bell 212

Bell 212: Official Bell designation for Model 212 production for military use.
AB-212: Italian license production of Bell 212 by Agusta-Bell. It is identical to the Bell 212.
UH-1N: Standard Bell 212 in US military use.
HH-1N: Bell 212 with hoist for SAR duties.
VH-1N: Bell 212 for VIP transport.

TypeTransport helicopter
Crew2 + 13 (2 pilots, 13 troops)
Lenght17.46 m rotors turning, 12.92 m fuselage
Width2.86 m stabiliser span
Height4.53 m to rotorhead
Weight2.79 t empty, 5.08 t MTOW
RotorsTwo blade main rotor, two blade tail rotor
Diameter14.69 m main rotor, 2.59 m tail rotor
Disc area174 m2 main, 5.3 m2 tail
Powerplant2x Pratt & Whitney T400-CP-400, 1.290 hp combined during take-off, 1.130 hp continuous
Speed259 km/h max at sea level, 230 km/h cruise, 185 km/h economic
Range420 km
Fuel814 L
Climb rate6.7 m/s
Ceiling4.3 km
Landing gearSkids, 2.64 m track
Cargo13 troops
6 stretchers
1.8 t internal cargo
2.3 t cargo on sling
AvionicsStandard flight controls
Self defense?
Weapon systems2x 7.62mm machine gun
Fixed weapons-
Option 1Optional 7.62mm M60 machine gun in each door
Option 2-
Option 3-
Option 4-
Option 5-
Option 6-
Option 7-
Option 8-


The AB-212ASW is a dedicated anti-submarine warfare version that is derived from the license produced AB-212. It is fitted with a dipping sonar system, a radar above the cabin and a hoist for SAR duties. It can be armed with lightweight torpedoes or various anti-ship missiles.

TypeNaval helicopter
Crew4 + 5 (2 pilots, 2 crew, 5 passengers)
Lenght17.40 m rotors turning, 12.92 m fuselage
Width2.86 m stabiliser span
Height3.91 m to rotorhead
Weight3.42 t empty, 4.94 t on SAR mission, 5.07 t MTOW
RotorsTwo blade main rotor, two blade tail rotor
Diameter14.63 m main rotor, 2.59 m tail rotor
Disc area168 m2 main, 5.3 m2 tail
PowerplantPratt & Whitney PT6T-6 Turbo Twin Pac, 1.875 hp
Speed240 km/h max at sea level, 196 km/h cruise, 185 km/h with armament
Range667 km with auxiliary fuel, 615 km with AS.12 missiles
Fuel1.021 kg internal, 356 kg external
Climb rate6.6 m/s
Ceiling3.2 km hovering in ground effect, 0.4 km out of ground effect
Endurance5 hours
Landing gearSkids, 2.64 m track
Cargo7 troops
4 stretchers
490 kg of ordnance
AvionicsStandard flight controls, Bensix AN/AQS-15B/F sonar, MEL ARI-5955, MM/APS-705 or Sea Spray radar
Self defense?
Weapon systemsMk 44 torpedo
Mk 46 torpedo
AS-12 missiles
Sea Killer missile
Sea Skua missile
7.62mm machine gun
Fixed weapons-
Hardpoints2 optional launch rails
Option 1Mk 44 or Mk 46 torpedo
Option 2AS-12 missile on each launch rail
Option 3Sea Killer missile on each launch rail
Option 4Sea Skua missile on each launch rail
Option 5Optional 7.62mm MG3 machine gun in each cabin door
Option 6-
Option 7-
Option 8-


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