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Three Subaru Bell 412EPXs selected for North American ops
Three Subaru Bell 412 EPXs are to be delivered to North American customers this year. The aircraft particularly suits the companies' utility and public safety missions.
Ventura County sheriff’s office has selected the first North America public safety-configured Subaru Bell 412EPX to expand its mission capabilities.

Salt River Project, San Diego Gas & Electric and Ventura County California's sheriff's office aviation unit have each signed a purchase agreement for one Subaru Bell 412EPX.

Salt River Project performs critical missions providing water and electricity to the greater Phoenix area in Arizona.

“The Arizona climate and topography can be extremely challenging year-round,” says Mark Wegele. “The Subaru Bell 412EPX's modern technology and unmatched ability to perform in the most demanding environments will allow our unit to operate more efficiently and safely to provide power resources to the public.”

Since 1903, SRP has delivered low-cost reliable power and water for over 100 years, making it one of the largest utility operators in North America. SRP's Flight Services Department was formed in 1978 and in 1981 began its rotary wing operations with a Bell 206B JetRanger. The Subaru Bell 412EPX will join its current fleet of Bell 212 and Bell 429 aircraft.

“SRP's Flight Services Department has relied on Bell aircraft for more than 40 years,” says Bell managing director, North America Lane Evans. “The Subaru Bell 412EPX will significantly enhance SRP's ability to transport crew and cargo, perform power pole replacement and complete hoist work, which is critical to its mission of providing low-cost electricity and water resources to Arizona residents.”

This is the first Bell aircraft for California-based SDG&E, which provides utility service to approximately 3.6 million customers within San Diego County and the southern portion of neighbouring Orange County in California.

“Utility work consisting of heavy workloads such as crew and cargo transport can be extremely challenging,” says aviation programmes advisor Jesse Thrush. “Operating in high elevations, such as the Laguna Mountains, coupled with San Diego's year round hot temperatures, adds another layer of complexity to those challenges.”

“With more than 350 Bell 412s in use, high-flying operators continue to rely on the aircraft's ability to perform and complete some of the most demanding missions, like utility operations,” adds Evans. “The Subaru Bell 412EPX delivers the most modern technology and capabilities, and we are proud to mark this important milestone with SDG&E."

The Ventura sheriff's office aviation unit will take delivery of the first public safety-configured Subaru Bell 412EPX helicopter in North America. The new aircraft will be used for law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical services and fire suppression.

“The Subaru Bell 412EPX will increase our ability to perform these critical missions in demanding high elevation environments year round,” says captain Randy Downard. “Adding the new aircraft will allow us to better protect and serve the citizens of Ventura County and neighbouring communities.”

The Ventura County Aviation Unit began its operations in 1971, utilising a Bell 47 for aerial public safety missions. This unit is the only public safety aviation unit in the county and provides support for all local and state law enforcement and fire service agencies there. The new Subaru Bell 412EPX is scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of this year.

“Ventura County sheriff's office has been a Bell operator for more than 50 years and as its mission continues to evolve, we are proud to deliver the first domestic public safety configured Subaru Bell 412EPX,” says Evans. “The Subaru Bell 412EPX's modern technology will provide the air unit with significant enhancements including safety operations and direct operating cost.”

Certified in 2018, the Subaru Bell 412EPX possesses an increased maximum internal weight of 12,200 lbs, external weight of 13,000 lbs and up to 5,000 lbs of goods with a cargo hook. The platform enables large cargo and personnel transportation with its ability to carry up to 5,385 lbs. It benefits from a more robust main rotor gearbox dry run capability and mast torque output of +11 per cent at speeds below 60 knots, providing operators the ability to transport more supplies and perform operations more efficiently.

Other News
Japan Coast Guard signs for two Subaru Bell 412EPX
June 20, 2024
These Subaru Bell 412EPXs will support the Japanese Coast Guard’s maritime security, search and rescue operations, maritime disaster relief efforts and cargo transport needs.
Bell achieves certification for BasiX-Pro retrofit kit
March 26, 2024
In an effort to increase reliability, situational awareness and decreased pilot workload, the BasiX-Pro kit delivers the latest integrated flight deck, high-resolution displays as well as engine data and flight operation recording.
JGAS signs up for Japan's first Designer Series Bell 429
March 18, 2024
The Japan General Aviation Service Group has bought its second Bell helicopter, the first of the Designer Series to operate in Japan.