First Australian Eagle Bell 407 conversion nears completion

The first Australian Eagle 407HP conversion is underway at Eagle Australasia’s facility at Coffs Harbour Airport. (Eagle Australasia)
The first Australian Eagle 407HP conversion is underway at Eagle Australasia’s facility at Coffs Harbour Airport. (Eagle Australasia)

Coffs Harbour-based Eagle Australasia is close to completing its first Eagle 407HP conversion, where the Bell 407 light helicopter is re-engined with a Honeywell HTS-900-D2.

“The 407 conversion for Heli Niugini should be ground running in the coming days and test flying by the end of the month (March),” Eagle Australasia chief executive Grant Boyter told Australian Aviation.

“We flew a team of three out from Eagle in Canada to assist and train us with this conversion. We also have another conversion, for HeliSGi of Bali, scheduled to start here in May.”

After the installation of the 1,021shp (751kW) HTS-900 engine, the helicopter becomes the Eagle 407HP, which offers operators a 17 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and a 22 per cent increase in shaft horsepower compared to the original factory fitted Rolls-Royce 250-C4B7.

The Australian-converted machine will be the Eagle group’s ninth 407HP conversion, with the recently re-branded Eagle Copters ordering eight additional HTS-900s in response to growing demand for its Bell 407 re-engine program.

“We have already completed eight Eagle 407HP conversions to date and the demand is growing,” said David Whiting, vice president of Calgary, Canada-based Eagle.

Whiting said the re-engined Eagle 407HP can lift an additional 227kg of payload, has an improved dash speed, and promises a 12 per cent reduction in maintenance costs.

The HTS900, which is also fitted to the Marenco Swisshelicopter SKYe SH09, features a dual centrifugal compressor, cooled single-crystal turbine blades, effusion-cooled combustor liner and a dual-channel FADEC.