Bell 222
The Bell 222 is a twin-engined light helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

 built by Bell Helicopter. The Bell 230 is an improved development with different engines and other minor changes. A cosmetically modified version of the 222 was used as the titular aircraft in the US television series Airwolf
Airwolf is an American television series that ran from 1984 until 1987. The program centers on a high-tech military helicopter, code named Airwolf, and its crew as they undertake various missions, many involving espionage, with a Cold War theme....



In the late 1960s Bell began designing a new twin turbine engine light helicopter. A mock-up of the new helicopter was displayed in January 1974 at a helicopter convention. Following interest at the convention the company announced the new Bell 222. It was the first light commercial twin turbine engine helicopter developed in the United States.

The Bell 222 incorporated a number of advanced features including dual hydraulic and electrical systems, stub wings housing the retractable landing gear, and the Noda Matic vibration reduction system developed for the Bell 214ST.

Manufacturing began in 1975. The Model 222 first flew on August 13, 1976. It received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 (FAA) on August 16, 1979 and was approved for visual flight rules
Visual flight rules
Visual flight rules are a set of regulations which allow a pilot to operate an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going. Specifically, the weather must be better than basic VFR weather minimums, as specified in the rules of the...

 (VFR) use on December 20, 1979. Helicopter deliveries began on January 16, 1980. The FAA approved the 222 for single pilot instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules are one of two sets of regulations governing all aspects of civil aviation aircraft operations; the other are visual flight rules ....

 (IFR) operation on May 15, 1980.

Improved versions

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.

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
Bell 430
-External links:*...



The design includes two main rotor blades of stainless-steel-fiberglass construction and rotor hub with elastomeric bearings, which are lubricant free. Its cabin holds a maximum of 10 persons with 1-2 pilots and 8-9 passengers. Seating configurations include standard seating for a pilot and seven passengers; or executive seating with 1-2 pilots and seating for 5-6. 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 Bell 222 is powered by twin Lycoming/Honeywell LTS101-650 turboshaft engines, rated at 592 shp each. Later 222 versions feature more powerful engines. Engine output is at 100% of rating 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. Fuel is stored in three tanks, one in the fuselage and one in each sponson
Sponsons are projections from the sides of a watercraft, for protection, stability, or the mounting of equipment such as armaments or lifeboats, etc...

. The main rear landing gear retract into the sponsons.

The Bell 222's rotor systems include:
  • 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
    Pusher configuration
    In a craft with a pusher configuration the propeller are mounted behind their respective engine. According to Bill Gunston, a "pusher propeller" is one mounted behind engine so that drive shaft is in compression...

    -type two-bladed tail rotor mounted on the left side of the tailboom, turning at 3396 RPM.


Bell 222 : The original Model 222, sometimes unofficially called a Bell 222A to distinguish it from the Bell 222B. It was powered by two (461 kW takeoff rated, 441 kW max continuous rated) Honeywell
Honeywell International, Inc. is a major conglomerate company that produces a variety of consumer products, engineering services, and aerospace systems for a wide variety of customers, from private consumers to major corporations and governments....

 (formerly Lycoming) LTS-101-650C-3
Honeywell LTS101
|-See also:-External links:*...

A turboshaft engine is a form of gas turbine which is optimized to produce free turbine shaft power, rather than jet thrust...

Bell 222B : In 1982 the 222 was given a power upgrade (two Honeywell (formerly Lycoming) LTS-101-750Cs with takeoff rating of 505 kW each), a larger main rotor, and was renamed the Bell 222B.
Bell 222B Excutive : This model had improved systems and a luxury interior.

Bell 222UT : A 222B variant with skids, introduced in 1983. The lack of retractable landing gear allowed for larger auxiliary fuel tanks.

Bell D-292
Bell D-292
|-See also:...

 : 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 D-292 had a new composite airframe.

Bell 230 : In 1991 the 222B design was updated, given more powerful engine versions, and renamed the Bell 230. Production ended in 1995.
Bell 230 Executive: Executive transport version.
Bell 230 Utility: Utility transport version.
Bell 230 EMS: Air ambulance version, equipped with one or two stretchers.

Bell 222SP : During the 1990s, some Bell 222s were modified with the 222B's engines and 230's Allison 250-C30G engines for improved single engine (engine-out) performance, and redesignated as 222SPs.

Bell 430
Bell 430
-External links:*...

 : In 1995 the Bell 430, a stretched 230 (adding another seating row), was launched, with more powerful engines and a four-blade main rotor.


In addition to the large number of civil operators, a small number of Bell 222 family helicopters have entered military service.

  • Albanian Air Force
    Albanian Air Force
    The Albanian Air Force is the national Air Force of the Albanian military. Currently it operates under the Albanian Joint Forces Command and it is regrouped in the Albanian Air Brigade...

     operated one Bell 222 from 1979 to 2001.


Model 222 222B 222U 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 Front: pilot + one.   Main: 4–6 (depending on seat types)
Maximum 10 (pilot and 9 passengers)
Height 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m) 12 ft 2 in (3.71 m) 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Fuselage length 42 ft 2 in (12.85 m) 42 ft 11 in (12.78 m) 42 ft 3 in (12.88 m)
Rotor diameter 40 ft (12.2 m) 42 ft (12.80 m)
Length overall 49 ft 6 in (15.1 m) 50 ft 3 in (15.32 m)
Engine (2x) Lycoming LTS-101-650C-3
Honeywell LTS101
|-See also:-External links:*...

Lycoming LTS-101-750C Rolls-Royce 250-C30G/2
Rolls-Royce Model 250
|-External links:*...

Power (2x) 618 hp (461 kW) 680 hp (505 kW) 700 hp (520 kW)
Max speed 130 kt
(149 mph, 240 km/h)
135 kt
(155 mph, 250 km/h)
140 kt
(161 mph, 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
(372 mi, 600 km)
378 nmi
(434 mi, 700 km)
386 nmi
(559 mi, 900 km)
378 nmi
(434 mi, 700 km)
Empty 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 Take-off Weight 7,848 lb (3,560 kg) 8,250 lb (3,742 kg) 8,400 lb (3,810 kg)

Sources:, Helicopterdirect, Others

Notable appearances in media

The Bell 222 is widely known from the television series Airwolf
Airwolf is an American television series that ran from 1984 until 1987. The program centers on a high-tech military helicopter, code named Airwolf, and its crew as they undertake various missions, many involving espionage, with a Cold War theme....

where a modified 222A
Airwolf (helicopter)
Airwolf is the helicopter from the 1980s American television series of the same name. The aircraft itself was a modified Bell 222 twin-engined light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter and owned by JetCopters Inc.-Bell 222:...

 was featured. Following this appearance, Bell 222s made a variety of background appearances in film, television, and computer games. A notable appearance was in the 2009 film Angels & Demons in which the Carmerlengo uses a Bell 222 to evacuate stolen anti-matter from the Vatican to save the city.

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.