What we know about the crashed helicopter carrying Iran’s president

By Reuters
May 21, 2024
A helicopter carrying Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, near the Iran-Azerbaijan border on May 19, 2024 which later crashed. — Reuters

TEHRAN: The helicopter that crashed in Iran on Sunday, killing the country’s president and foreign minister in mountain fog, was a Bell 212 model, Iranian state media reported.


A civilian version of the ubiquitous Vietnam War-era UH-1N “Twin Huey,” such helicopters are in wide use globally by both governments and private operators:Bell Helicopter (now Bell Textron, a division of Textron Inc TXT.N) developed the aircraft for the Canadian military in the late 1960s as an upgrade of the original UH-1 Iroquois. The new design used two turboshaft engines instead of one, giving it greater carrying capacity.

The helicopter was introduced in 1971 and was quickly adopted by both the United States and Canada, according to US military training documents.As a utility helicopter - the UH in its military designation represents those words - the Bell 212 is meant to be adaptable to all sorts of situations, including carrying people, deploying aerial firefighting gear, ferrying cargo and mounting weapons. The Iranian model that crashed on Sunday was configured to carry government passengers. Bell Helicopter advertises the latest version, the Subaru Bell 412, for police use, medical transport.