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Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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Bell 412

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Japan's police agency places first 412EPX order
A commercial variant of the Bell 412 is on its way to the Japan National Police Agency. The Subaru Bell 412EPX is the first of its kind to be delivered for operational use and promises greater efficiency and load capacity.
The Japan National Police Agency is the launch partner for the world’s first order of a Subaru Bell 412EPX.

The Japan National Police Agency (JPNA) has placed the first order for a Subaru Bell 412EPX. “We thank the National Police Agency for its trust,” says Bell Helicopter president and chief executive officer Mitch Snyder. “These aircraft will contribute to the overall safety and security of the people in Japan's Iwate Prefecture. We look forward to further collaboration and continued success with Subaru for many years to come.”

Subaru Corporation corporate senior vice president and aerospace company president Shoichiro Tozuka adds: “We are honoured to have received the world's first order for the Subaru Bell 412EPX. This order is the first milestone in bringing the model to customers around the world.”

Last year, Bell and Subaru announced their collaboration on a commercial enhancement of the Subaru Bell 412EPX, the newest upgrade of the renowned Bell 412 series. It was co-developed by the two companies as the platform for the New Utility Helicopter for the JMOD (Japan Ministry of Defence) programme and the prototype was delivered for testing in February 2019.

Together with Subaru's laser peening technology, the Subaru Bell 412EPX will benefit from a more robust main rotor gearbox dry run capability, increased internal maximum gross weight to 12,200 lbs and MAST (maximum allowable stem torque) output of above 11 per cent at speeds below 60 knots. This will enable operators to transport more supplies and achieve better operational efficiency.

The Bell 412 has a reputation for reliability in some of the most extreme climates and its versatile cabin accommodates options to suit any specific mission needs. It continues to be the twin-engine helicopter of choice in the parapublic sector, with governments in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, US and Thailand incorporating the aircraft in their operations.

Bell's history in Japan started with the delivery of three Bell 47D-1s to Mainichi Press, Yomiuri Press and Chunichi Press in November 1952. Historically, Bell has supplied more than 1,500 aircraft, that have been used, or are still in service, in Japan.

Subaru's partnership with Bell was established in the 1960s for the licenced production of the HU-1B/204B. Since then, through the cooperation, Subaru has been manufacturing and supporting more than 400 helicopters in Japan, including the UH-1H/204B-2, UH-1J/205B and AH-1S to the JMOD. Subaru has been providing helicopter MRO support to the Japan Coast Guard, Japan National Police Agency and to the Japan firefighting and disaster relief government agencies.

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