Eagle 407HP helicopter conversions are becoming popular with operators looking for more power, better performance, greater load capacity and improved fuel economy than the Bell 407 can deliver with its standard engine. Eagle Australasia recently completed the first Eagle 407HP conversion in Australia, marking a major milestone for the Eagle-Honeywell program.
This brings to 10 the number of helicopters converted to the Eagle 407HP model by replacing the standard engine with Honeywell’s proven HTS900 turboshaft engine. The Honeywell engine delivers the lowest fuel consumption and the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class, making it ideal for missions that require the lifting of heavy loads under hot and high conditions.
A team of three maintenance engineers from Eagle Canada flew to Australia to train and assist the Australasia team with the conversion, the first performed outside Canada.
The newest Eagle 407HP was delivered to Heli Niugini, the leading helicopter service provider in Papua New Guinea. The company specializes in supporting precision construction, mining and petroleum industries throughout Papua New Guinea, Australia, Asia and the Pacific region.
The Eagle 407HP was tested during a trial in Papua New Guinea in January when a variety of heavy internal and external loads were lifted under the most demanding of operating conditions.
“With initial results coming in as anticipated, the aircraft was then taken up over 10,000 feet to prove its performance at ‘hot and high,’ and after multiple lifts at 11,300 feet (density altitude 13,000 feet) the words ‘Awesome’ and ‘What a beast’ were heard reverberating around the mountains,” said Grant Boyter, Eagle Australasia CEO, after the trial.
Using design and engineering licensed from Bell Helicopter, Honeywell and Eagle Copters launched the Eagle 407HP program to improve the performance of existing Bell 407 helicopters by replacing the standard engine with the Honeywell HTS900 engine. Under the partnership, Honeywell provides the HTS900 engine and configuration while Eagle Copters provides the aircraft, performs the engine installation and handles flight testing and certification. The partnership received a supplemental type certificate covering the retrofit program in 2014.