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Bell CH-146


The CH-146 Griffon (Bell 412HP) utility tactical helicopter is used for tactical airlift of troops & equipment, logistic airlift, aeromedical support & casualty evacuation, reconnaissance & surveillance, direction & control of fire, and command & liaison of communications assistance. For the purist, the aircraft is actually a Bell 412CF, a designation which recognizes the various Griffon-unique avionics installed in the Canadian Forces variant.


Length:56'2" from the rear of the tail rotor disc to the front of the main rotor disc.
Width:9'4"  - at the skids, and at the horizontal stabilizer
Height:15'1" - from the ground to the top of the tr disc (highest point) in an aircraft weighing 11,900 lbs.  Add approximately 3.3" if aircraft is empty
Rotor diameter:14 m
Height:4.6 m
Weight:11,900 lbs (Max Gross), 7400 lbs (Dry)
Power:Pratt and Whitney engine 1,800 shaft horse power
Speed:140 knots (260 km/h)
Range:354 NM (656 km)
Ceiling:10,000 ft without oxygen
Crew:2 pilots, 1 flight engineer
Passenger Capacity:13
Year(s) procured:1995-98

The Griffon is intended to replace the Twin Huey, Kiowa, and Iroquois Helicopter fleets. It is similar in appearance to the CH-135, easily distinguised from the Twin Huey which is similar in appearance with the exception that the Griffon has four rotor blades as opposed to the two blades of the Twin Huey. The similarity between the Griffon and its predecessor, the Twin Huey, means an easy transfer of maintenance skills to the new airframe.

It is essentually a Civilian Bell 412HP, with minor additions such as missile warning receivers and tactical radios that make it an operational military aircraft.

The Griffon, built in Mirabel, Quebec, can be fitted to support any of 30 mission kits that are a part of its contract - this includes FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red), a powerful winch for Search-And-Rescue missions, a Searchlight for night-time visibility, and many others.

A rare picture!
A rare picture of a Griffon slinging a COMPLETE Giat LG-1, a feat that many thought was impossible.

The Canadian Military has purchased 100 airframes in total, 89 are serving in Tactical Helicopter Squadrons in Edmonton, Alberta; Toronto and Petawawa, Ontario; Valcartier, Quebec; and Gagetown, New Brunswick. The rest of the aircraft are being used in Search-And- Rescue roles at Combat Support Squadrons in Cold Lake, Alberta; and Bagotville, Quebec; as well as reserve air force units - 400 Squadron in Borden, Ontario, and 438 Squadron in St-Hubert, Quebec.

The last CH-146 Griffon was delivered in Mid 1998.

Locations of the CH-146 Griffon in the Canadian Armed Forces
Location Number of Airframes
417 Combat Support Sqn, Cold Lake, Alberta 3
439 Combat Support Squadron, Bagotville, Quebec 3
403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron, Gagetown, New Brunswick 14
408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, Edmonton, Alberta 24
427 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, Petawawa, Ontario 19
430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, Valcartier, Quebec 16
438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, (reserves) St-Hubert, Quebec 8
400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, (reserves) Borden, Ontario 8
444 Combat Support Squadron, Goose Bay, Newfoundland 4

Click on any of the images below for a wallpaper-size picture.

Thanks to Alan Browne of for some of these Griffon Images.

©1997,2002 Alan Browne

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