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B212 Vs. B205-a1

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My company is considering getting a B212 for external load work in order to carry more per trip than we presently do, using an AS350. We’d use the aircraft in a warm, low-altitude environment (35ºC, below 2,000 ft MSL); our loads are heavy and compact, and stable when carried on a line. Other than a hook limit of 5,000 lbs. and a max gross weight of 11,900 lbs., I don’t know any weights/performance limits on this type of aircraft. If any of you have used or are using the B212 in external load operations, please help me with the following questions:


- What is a typical empty weight for a B212 in VFR, external load configuration (no autopilot or co-pilot instruments, seats removed or web seats only)?

- What is the max gross weight of the B212 with external load, in other words, is there a difference with the internal load-only MGW?

- What’s the average fuel burn per hour doing external load work?

- What is the published VNE with door(s) removed, bubble door for the pilot, and/or with a load on the hook?

- In the environment I’ve described (ISA + 20-25ºC, 0-2,000 ft MSL), does the B212’s performance (hover OGE) limit it to less than its structural limits?

- How would a B205-A1 rate in comparison to a B212 on these points and also price?


Any help with these questions will be highly appreciated.

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-212 AUW is 11,200, 412 is 11,900

-Typical VFR steamers weigh in at 6300 to 6600 lbs EW.

Strip all the 4 man, 5 man and side seats, and you'd save a bunch more, I forget how much right now.

-I always figure on 750 PPH

-I don't have that much external load ops, mostly all skiing time, but I've never lifted more than 3200 lb ( -5 / 6500', 150' line, 400 lb fuel, 1/2 the seats stripped out). I moved drills one winter down at 3,000', but their 2900 lb drill must have been measured in Drillograms, and I don't have that conversion table, sure seemed to be a lot more.


For the rest of your questions, I'm going to have to open a RFM in the AM :blink:

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Leggo -----don't wish to complicate your decision making process, but you might want to get the same type info on the Bell 210 also. It's basically the new and refurbished version of the 205, only with new generation P & W engine and a nice list of other amenities that might be a bit kinder to your pocket book as far as operating costs go.


The heat and humidity factors will decide it for you. Once you reach the temps mentioned, the 205 is to hurting badly. EW's for the 205 can run between 5400 to as high as 6100......depending on what you got in /on it. The 212 EW's are just about what 3BX2 has mentioned on average, but I've seen them higher than that......again depending on what's on/in her. The only time a 205 will come close to lifting with a 212 is at cold temps and below 2,500'. So don't even consider comparing the two at the temps you mentioned because the warmer it gets the more the 212 pulls out in front if it's anywhere near the same weight. Depending on the driver and the engineer, the maintenance difference will be engine-wise on the 212. The -13 usually wins in that contest. Cost-wise, you better come up with another $1M+ for a good 212 of equal TTSO time. Fuel burn?........a 45 gal drum every 35 minutes for the 205.........make that 2 drums even for the 212 over the same time. Those are Rules of thumb only because you're slinging and each load is a different weigth, I assume and there are other factors that come into play.


My advice: go for the 212 (I'd personally have a long hard look at the 210 as a compromise) because of the age factor. I love the old 205 and there are some real good, well maintained ones out there, but most are chasing or have even exceeded 20,000hrs airframe time and sooner or later that catches up to them because there is a limit there also.

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Have to disagree you you there cap. While the 212 are sitting, the 205's with the -17 and 212 rotor, are flying 8's all day long in the US on our forestry contracts. The 212 just won't meet the numbers. And as far as moving Drills, the 205 again with the -17 and 212 rotor system, will deffinitaly move Drills faster and with more reserve in the hot and high days we encounter along the eastern slopes. Just my experience. Have a good one. :up:

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I'm with HBG on this one. The 205 -17, 212 rotor system(205 A1++) will out perform the 212 every time (unless it's really hot ei. 35c+) the only other option you might consider is the 205B witch has an external max gross of 11200 lbs, with an empty weight of around 5500-5800 lbs, there aren't many around but is certainly my favourite Bell medium for moving drills etc.. Good luck with your endeavor to find the right a/c for your needs. :up:

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:o Leggo,


Depending on your job requirements all three A/C (Bell 210.205-13,205-17, 212 3, 212 3B, 212HP 3D, 212HP 3E/F) have there merits. All of the above A/C will meet your job requirements unless you go to altittude or are required to fly twin engine due to customer requirements. The E/F powerplant upgrade on the 212 will give you an addtional 9% Q as well as higher N1 values and the ability to "beep the performing engine" thus allowing you to determine your daily operating limit i.e N1, ITT, or Q. It also gives you an OEI of 96%. Both helicopters are incredibly easy to fly, and make exceptional VR platforms. Have been fortunate enough to fly four of the above models and regularly work the 212 3B. The 205-13 unfortunatly lacks N1 above 5000', the 205-17 gets considerble gains to compete with a 212 at altittude, however at really hot and high jobs the 212 will slowly walk pass a 205-17. The 205A1-17 is generally 300-500 lbs lighter than a conventional VFR 212 configured for VR work ( one powerplant abscent) this unfortunatly gives the pilot the impression that he/she has more power,( horsepower vs horsepower). Speed, efficancy, production what ever you want to call it, is a direct function of time being made up with an empty hook not while you have a piece on (measure twice cut once). This in turn is determined by the abilities of the Driver. Both A/C can only move them so fast i.e 80 kts. Believe me, our drilling client has done there homework. Personally, have worked the 205 and the 212 on construction, logging, seismic, fires, and skiing and would prefer a 212. Most of the work we do is VR, having a second stove can and has, gotten me home safely to my wife ;) .


As for operating costs the 212 will obviously have higher DOC's due to the secound engine, unless your a frech speaking operator, then there are no DOC's it's all almost free. Doahh was that out load?



Curenttly working a 212 in Utah @ 8000' and 40c with 2900 lb drills. NO PROBLEM :D !!! ( Although, thank-god there are no trees just super steep ravines, it's mountain rescue with a 2900 lb patient) the 205 on the same job, is not fairing as well.


This again, is my humble opinion.

Cheers BDVI.


P.S HBG, was just curious when was the last time you worked a 212 :shock: ;) ?


Hogie, PM me. May be looking for Contract guys.

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All responders, thanks very much for your valuable insights! If you should come across any further info, please do post!


Blackmac, I am actually researching the Lama option as I had a feeling it might be more cost-effective for us. One potential snag is getting adequate parts support in our area (S. America) when EC seem to want to let the Lama program bleed to death.

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Big Duke!!! You know that you can't increase your available torque without changing the airframe ei. transmission,or mast.????? So an engine mod can't really help you all the time. although I'll give you the high and hot senario. We both know that the 205A1++ will do everything the F/M says and more. But the old steam chicken ....... well.... its a fright manual what can I say????? I still think that the old 205,205A1,205A1++,205B,210 will stand the test of time. Although I think that the 210 is still just a wet dream for some of us old farts!! Anyways Its just splitting hairs, and there is so many variables anymore ei. stake kit, 212 blades... etc.. etc.. so its hard to compare apples to apples anymore. I would have to say that the best bang for your buck is still the 205A1 -17, 212 Blades.... Because I know it will do what it is supposed to do and more. Although I love the old steam chicken dearly it just can't stand up. Anyways that's my opinion and I'm sure there are many who would disagree. But thats what makes life interesting.


Hogie :D

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