Bell 407

Bell ARH-70 Arapaho

Bell ARH-70 Arapaho

The Bell 445, military designation ARH-70A Arapaho, was designed for the US Army Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program in order to replace the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior with a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) already existing model.

Based on the Bell 407, the ARH will used a more powerful engine, the all composite main rotor of the Bell 430 and the Bell 427 tail assembly. The only other contender was an upgraded version of the Hughes/McDonnell Douglas/Boeing H-6, the MH-6M Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB).

Bell s demonstrator first flew on July 20 2006 and was awarded with a contract to build 368 aircraft but after excessive delays and growth costs the program was cancelled on October 16 2008.

Many of the Arapaho features will be later applied to the OH-58F upgrade

  ARH-70 Arapaho News

ARH program halted

17-Oct-08 - On Oct. 16 the Department of Defense notified the Congress and the contractor, Bell Helicopter, that it will not certify the U.S. Army Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program for continuation. As a result the Army Acquisition Executive Office for Aviation is directing that the program's contract be terminated completely for the convenience of the government.

ARH Program Exceeds 1,000 Flight Hours in 15 Months

01-Nov-07 - Fort Worth, TX - Bell Helicopter Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Program achieved another milestone while preparing for a Limited Users Test (LUT) at Yuma Proving Grounds. The program surpassed 1,000 flight test hours in under 15 months of flying.

ARH-70A Continues Development

10-May-07 - Atlanta, GA - The ARH Program continues to accomplish critical events during the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase. Commenting on the progress of the program, President and CEO of Bell, Dick Millman noted, "We recently completed two significant events in support of a Milestone C (Low Rate Initial Production) decision. These are critical paths to the successful fielding of the ARH-70A. The Bell and Army Teams have worked closely over the life of the ARH Program to bring it to this point. Overall the aircraft is performing well and receiving many positive comments from the Army/Bell test pilot team."

ARH-70A First Flight

20-Jul-06 - Farnborough Air Show, England - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company today announced that the Bell ARH-70A completed its first two flights Thursday, July 20, 2006. The aircraft took off from Bell XworX in Arlington, Texas and flew multiple handling maneuvers, flew in a hover for both in and out of ground effect, and flew in a traffic pattern reaching 80 knots, 500 ft. altitude, with banks up to 30 degrees for a little more than 1.5 hours of flight. The flights delineate the ARH program as one of the fastest 'contract to flight' programs ever completed and set a new standard for such acquisitions.

Bell awarded Army contract to build 368 ARH

29-Jul-05 - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - Bell Helicopter, a unit of Textron Inc., was awarded a $2.2 billion contract by the United States Army to build its next generation Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, or ARH. The ARH will replace the Army's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Helicopter also produced by Bell. The contract calls for Bell Helicopter to build 368 aircraft for delivery during fiscal years 2006 through 2013.
    More News ...

Specifications ARH-70 Arapaho

Engine 1 x Honeywell HTS900 970 shp
Capacity 2 + 6
Length (m) 10.57
Height (m) 3.56
Blades 4
Rotor diam. (m) 10.67
Disc area (m2) 89
Weight (kgs) Empty: 1178     Max: 2268
Speed (km/h) Cruise: 209     Max: 259
Range (km) 300
Ceiling (m) 6000
Rate/Climb (m/min)

  List of Operators of ARH-70 Arapaho

  Global Distribution of ARH-70 Arapaho


Construction Numbers

C/N Year History
53343 1999 AR US LV-ZPF,N91796
53903 2006 US N44515
53904 2006 US N44548
53905 2006 US N445AR
53906 2006 US N445HR
81001 US N445LN

Helicopters for sale
Future helicopters
Flying a helicopter
Helicopter stories
TV and movies

Helicopter books
Helicopter patches
Helicopter model kits