Just after celebrating its 101st anniversary in the weekend of 10/11 December 2022, the Fuerza Aérea de Guatemala (FAG, Guatemalan Air Force) received two brand new Bell 412EPX helicopters on 13 December.
Equipped with glass cockpits as well as fast fins, these EPX-versions are of the latest version of the Bell 412 offered by the well-known US helicopter manufacturer. The helicopters received serials 141 (c/n 39109, ex N9351B) and 142 (c/n 39111, ex N9355B) with the FAG, and will be used in a variety of roles.
The helicopters arrived after a long delivery flight which started on 10 December at Bell Helicopter in Johnson City (TN). Via the US states of Alabama and Texas they crossed into Mexico and after a last stop at Villahermosa (Mexico) they arrived at La Aurora airport, Guatemala City on 13 December.
The FAG has a long history with the Bell 412, the first deliveries took place over 40 years ago, in January 1982. Six Bell 412s were operated until 2001, when the three survivors were sold. Three others were lost in accidents in 1982 and 1991. Currently, two Bell 412EPs with serials 001 and 102 are still in use as presidential transports with the Escuadrilla Presidencial, although these do not carry their serials externally, having been delivered around the turn of the century.
The two new helicopters will most likely serve with the Escuadrón de Helicópteros at La Aurora and cost Guatemalan taxpayers around 212 million Guatemalan quetzals (USD 27 million).
Photo via Fuerza Aérea de Guatemala