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In 1976 the Bell 214ST (Super Transporter) was proposed by Bell Helicopter to fulfill Iran's requirement for a new medium lift helicopter to equip its Army. It was larger and more powerful than prior Bell helicopters, had twin engines, plus excellent high heat and high altitude performance.
Both pilot and co-pilot crew of the Bell 214ST have controls capable of full functioning of the helicopter. The crew doors on each side of the helicopter may be jettisoned. Avionics included radar, Very Low Frequency navigating, navigating coupling, Distance Measuring Equipment, and Automatic Direction Finding.
The engine transmission of the Bell 214ST is capable of losing oil pressure and still operating for about an hour. Both engines of the helicopter turn its rotor through a single gearbox. In the event of one engine failure, the Bell 214ST is capable of flying with its remaining engine. The rotor blades are made of light weight, strong composites. They are wider than on its predecessor.
There are provisions on the skids of the Bell 214ST for emergency flotation. For over-water operations, life rafts can be stored in a fairing beneath the rotor mast.
The Bell 214ST can carry up to 18 passengers sitting side by side on three long bench seats. There is a storage area in the rear of the passenger compartment for baggage or cargo. Seats are removable for use as a cargo transport.
The Bell 214ST uses a conventional tail rotor made from composite materials with a reinforced leading edge made from steel. On the other side of the tail rotor is an electronically controlled elevator that improves overall stability by compensating for power and center of gravity changes during forward flight.
Unfortunately, the Bell 214ST project for Iran was canceled in 1979 due to the Islamic revolution. However Bell continued with the project hoping to find other buyers.
It turned out that Iraq became the largest purchaser of the Bell 214ST when they acquired 45 of the helicopters. The helicopters were used in combat against Iran. Other Bell 214ST helicopters found use in the military of other nations, in forestry operations, and as oil rig and general civil transports.
A total of 96 Bell 214ST helicopters of all types were built before manufacturing ended in 1993.