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R-01 Agusta Bell AB-412SP c/n 25630 - Royal Netherlands Air Force "SAR"- Den Helder Airport in Holland - 19 September 2009 Den Helder-de Kooy (EHKD)

The Agusta-Bell AB.412SP is a 15-seat medium lift utility helicopter with a radius of 650 km, powered by a 1800shp PT6T-3B Turbo Twin-Pac made up of two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3B turboshaft engines linked through a combining gearbox. The Bell Model 412 program was announced on 8 September 1978 as a development of the Bell Model 212 (UH-1N). The helicopter is basically a Bell 212 fitted with a new composite four-blade rotor. The first Bell 412 helicopter was a modified 212 that flew first in August 1979. The certification of the Model 412 followed in January 1981, the first deliveries were done in the same month. The helicopter is produced under license in Italy by Augusta as the AB-412 and in Indonesia by IPTN as the NBell 412. Bell built the helicopter in Canada for the Canadian Armed Forces as the CH-146 Griffon. The Model 412SP (Special Performance) flew first in 1985 and features increased fuel capacity, higher takeoff weight and more optional seating arrangements. Over 420 helicopters of the Model 412 were built.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Agusta-Bell AB.412SP is B412.

In October 1992, the Dutch Government ordered three Agusta-Bell AB412SP as a replacement for the remaining four Eurocopter SE-3160 Alouette III helicopters of the SAR Flight of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Deliveries of the Agusta Bell AB-412SP R-01 (s/n 25630), R-02 (s/n 25638) and R-03 (s/n 25641) started in 1993. Agusta Bell AB-412SP R-01 was handed over on 11 November 1993 and arrived on delivery at Leeuwarden Air Base on 4 March 1994. The AB-412SP was used for Search and Rescue-tasks, including emergency assistance for the Frisian Isles. This medevac-task meaned that the helicopter was used for emergency transport of persons from the Isles to the hospitals on the mainland. For this work, the helicopters were equipped with emergency floats and an hoist. In 1998, the SAR Flight was renamed 303 squadron. On behalf of their yellow colour the helicopters received the nickname "Tweety". On 1 January 2015, the Royal Netherlands Air Force took the three Agusta-Bell AB412SP SAR helicopters out of service. On 15 January 2015, the 303 squadron was be officially disbanded. After the three Agusta-Bell AB412SP helicopters were withdrawn from use they were offered for sale. The three helicopers were sold to Peru where they are used for a SAR task. In June 2015, Agusta-Bell AB412SP s/n 25630 entered service as HAL-460 with the Peruvian Navy / Marina de Guerra del Peru.
On 19 September 2009, the SAR' Agusta Bell AB-412SP R-01 was seen at the Den Helder Airport / Maritiem Vliegkamp De Kooy during Heldair Show Maritiem 2009.

page last updated: 04-10-2015
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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