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Bell 540

Old 21st Feb 2009, 11:59
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Bell 540

Saw a rumour on another site that this will debut at HAI , anyone got any specs ?
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Old 21st Feb 2009, 13:03
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Knowing Nick Lappos, being an old Cobra Pilot (operative word being "old") he will have topped a Jet Ranger with a Bell 540 rotor system and we'll have this years new roll out. Wait a minute.....did they not already do that and called it a 222?
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Old 21st Feb 2009, 14:37
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Me thinks MAPL architecture 412 replacement if true
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Old 22nd Feb 2009, 14:54
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The 222A flew like the AH1G without the tractor tail rotor - always watching power, tail rotor authority, and generally no gas to go anywhere (2+10 SL tops).
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Old 22nd Feb 2009, 14:58
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Whirlwind....and SLOW.....just like the Cobra. The only way the Cobra could keep up with a Chinook was while being carried as a sling load!
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Old 22nd Feb 2009, 15:47
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Yes, BH222A usually @125-130 knots IAS with a modest load at ISA SL and MT 80%.

What little Cobra flying I did I enjoyed, once it got through translational, but preferred the UH1C Charlie model due to total four crewmembers i.e. more eyes, and much better lateral coverage in a break or while low-bird on VR.

Take a strong UH1H up to short of blade stall and it'll slowly walk away from an armed AH1G; much to the surprise of all us one day in 1971 in a far off place when a bit short on fuel.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 22:23
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Slow (but airconditioned)

Why would anyone flying a Cobra be in a rush to get out of the airconditioned cockpit? Besides we were paid by the hour.
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 02:10
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What's in a name?

No such thing as a Bell 540. And as far as the rotor system goes, I thought it was called the "680 rotor system."

I can't even see how a 540 fits in the Bell naming convention. The MAPL series were all 3s (351, 381, 382) for third generation. But that was an engineering model referencing. The only thing to come out of MAPL has been the 429 which is the MAPL 382 airframe, MAPL rotor blades, with 427 powerplant and newly designed drive system, hub, and tail rotor.

Mind you the Bell model-naming convention defies convention. About the only consistent thing has been that the first digit correspond to the number of blades. At times there has been reference to pax (i.e. the 609 has 6 blades and carries 9 people, a 412 has 4 blades carries about 12 pax. ) Sometimes the number includ the crew, sometines it doesn't Sometimes Bell thinks its Boeing and starts to sequence just the center digit (i.e. 407, 427, 417). Sometimes it has added digits in normal counting fashion, but that was back in the 60s and 70s. i.e. 204,205 to 206, 209 was the Cobra, then 212, 214, etc. I think there were models in between the gaps - being variants that were prototypes or didn't make it. But then the 206 became the 406 for 4 blades (OH-58) then it evolved to become the 407. But when the 407 was evolved into a twin, and a "2" was inserted in the middle to make it a 427. Actually, I think the "222" evolved in sequence, but then it somehow progressed to the "230" as a single step (why add 8??) and then became a 430 when it went to 4-blades.

The initial improvements to the 427 were supposed to be called the 428. But that number is considered bad luck in some cultures, so it was initally dubbed the 427s3i (That's how it was displayed at HAI 2004. Ask Sandy Kinkade the story behind that some time.) In 2005, when it took on the MAPL airframe, it became the 429.

So by logic, a 540 would be five-bladed and carry 40 people, or have 4 engines and carry 0 people, or be the 40th design in a 5-bladed family of designs....
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 02:19
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Maybe it was really a Bell 450?

Photo Bell Helicopter Bell 450 C-BCHD

Definitely 4 blades, not sure about the seating capacity for 50 pax
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 02:30
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.....and a Bell 47 tail rotor guard attached!
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 06:51
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Avnx EO

Your logic as to the numbering of Bell helicopters astounds me. Why was the Bell 47 so named?
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 11:52
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Not to mention the bell 48 and bell 61
Bell HSL - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you think a single teetering rotor is scary imagine two of them
And the 540 was probably someones idea of a joke sorry for posting
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 12:05
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540 rotor system

Bell 540 refers to the rotor system, not a model of helicopter. The -10 US Army Pilot Operator manual, whatever it was called, can't remember, used "540 rotor system" to denote the big barn doors hung as rotor blades on the UH1C and AH1G.

As to getting out of the air conditioned cockpit of an AH1G in preference to the unairconditioned UH1C, comfort was not a concern for me in RVN, survival was. The Cobra was not as survivable as the UH1C when various scenarios cropped up.
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 13:16
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Bell numbering convention? There is no Bell numbering convention! Engineering design numbering + marketing spin = scrambled eggs!

And who nicknamed the 429 the "Global Ranger"?
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 13:39
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The 540 rotor system was also installed on the UH-1M and some of the UH-1E's, as well as the AH-1Q, R, and most S's. It was a 44 ft. diameter rotor with a 27 inch chord on the "door hinge" rotor head, and this system was more optimal for higher speed flight. I am not surprised that the Chinook could out run the AH-1G, considering that the Cobra probably had a load of 2.75 inch rockets, 4000 rounds of 7.62 mm, 300 rounds of 40mm grenades and possibly 1000 rds. of 20mm. I flew them in RVN as well as in training and testing in the states and we were always near max.GW. The Vne on the AH-1G was 190KIAS which was only achievable in a dive. Without bullets, rockets, etc.I suspect it could keep up with an unloaded Chinook.
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 15:11
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Darkhorse30

Darkhorse30 - sounds like a zone D callsign.

Right, the UH1M INFANT had the 540, as well as a forward CofG problem. The preproduction AH1 had a Vne of 220 and sans pods, armament, ammo, etc. that and the production AH1G could outrun the Chinook with ease, providing the skid cross tube farings were installed (Vne restricted without all four - I seem to remember).

WIII
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 15:26
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WIII
I saw a UH-1M with the INFANT system in late 69. I may be wrong but I think that all of the old C's were converted to M's later, and I think that the big difference was the replacement of the engine with the T53-L-13. The Army was using a bunch of old UH-1M's at White Sands Missile Range as target drones. A look at the FAA Type Certificate Data Base does not show any UH-1C's or M's. I still have my old AH-1G dash ten, as well as the ones for the AH-1S (and F's). I would rather be in a Cobra in a fight than a C or M because we carried more bang and were skinny, faster and hard to hit. Just don't do your breaks over the target.
Are you referring to War Zone D? I was stationed at Phu Loi (near War Zone D), then Soc Trang, and Can Tho.
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 15:59
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I am a Charter member of WOPA, Phu Loi Branch, Geronimo Chapter!

As I have stated in the past....the only way a Cobra can keep up with a Chinook is while riding on a sling underneath the Hook!
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 16:57
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I have to confess to being the originator of the Bell 540 rumour. It was never posted on here, but made its way here from Just Helicopters!

Nothing like a good rumour when nothing exciting is happening.
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Old 19th Mar 2009, 17:21
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"And who nicknamed the 429 the "Global Ranger"?"

Mike "Red" Redenbaugh when he was CEO of Bell.
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