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The Bell 214ST SuperTransport

Country of origin  
United States of America

Photos  

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Photo © Gary Watt

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Powerplants  
Two 1215kW (1625shp) General Electric CT72A turboshafts linked through a combining gearbox driving a two blade main rotor and two blade tail rotor.

Performance  
Max cruising speed 260km/h (140kt) at 4000ft, or 264km/h (143kt) at sea level. Max initial rate of climb 1780ft/min. Service ceiling with one engine out 4800ft. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 6400ft. Ferry range with auxiliary fuel 1020km (550nm), range with standard fuel and no reserves 805km (435nm).

Weights  
Empty 4300kg (9481lb), max takeoff 7938kg (17,500lb).

Dimensions  
Main rotor diameter 15.85m (52ft 0in), length overall rotors turning 18.95m (62ft 2in), fuselage length 15.03m (49ft 4in), height overall 4.84m (15ft 11in). Main rotor disc area 197.3m2 (2124sq ft).

Capacity  
Pilot and copilot and up to 16 or 17 passengers. Freight volume of 8.95m3 (316cu ft). Can carry an external sling freight load of 3630kg (8000lb).

Production  
The 214ST was in production during 1980 and 1990, during which time 100 were built.

Type  
Medium transport helicopter

History  

Despite sharing a common model number with the 214 Huey Plus and Big Lifter (described separately), the Bell 214ST is a larger, much modified helicopter.

Bell's biggest helicopter yet was developed to meet an Iranian requirement for a larger transport helicopter with better performance in its hot and high environment than its 214 Isfahans. Bell based its proposal on the 214 but made substantial design changes, resulting in what is essentially an all new helicopter with little commonality with the smaller 214 series.

The 214ST features two General Electric CT7 turboshafts (the commercial equivalent of the military T700), a stretched fuselage seating up to 17 in the main cabin, glassfibre main rotor blades, and lubrication free elastomeric bearings in the main rotor hub. The ST suffix originally stood for Stretched Twin, reflecting the changes over the 214, but this was later changed to stand for Super Transporter.

The 214ST was to have been built under licence in Iran as part of that country's plans to establish a large army air wing (other aircraft ordered in large numbers under this plan were the 214A Isfahan and AH1J SeaCobra), but the Islamic revolution and fall of the Shah in 1979 put paid to these plans.

Undeterred, Bell continued development of the 214ST - which first flew in February 1977 - for civil and military customers. Three preproduction 214STs were built from 1978 and 100 production aircraft were built through to 1990.

Most 214ST sales were to military customers. Iraq was the 214ST's largest customer, taking delivery of 45 during 1987 and 1988, some most likely seeing service in the Gulf War.

Civil applications for the 214ST are numerous, including oil rig support, where its twin engine configuration and 17 passenger main cabin are useful assets.

Copyright Airliners.net, some information Copyright Aerospace Publications

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.