Bell 407 (N41835) modified with a 1.02 m (3 ft 4 in) diameter fan and duct replacing the standard tail rotor, made its first flight at Bell's XworX research center in Arlington, Texas, on 15 July 2004. It will be used for evaluation of the Bell TailFan demonstrator performance and acoustics of various duct configurations in hover and forward flight. During altitude flight testing at Bell's facility in Leadville. Colorado, which was completed in October 2004, the MAPL demonstrator achieved hover out of ground effect (HOGE) at more than 3,516 m (11,700 ft), flight at more than 3.962 m (13.000 ft), and sideways flight up to 45 kt (83 km/h: 52 mph).
Some MAPL technology was introduced on the Bell 429 GlobalRanger. announced at the HAI Convention in Anaheim. California on 6 February 2005.
"Jane's All the World's Aircraft", 2007
The tail fan demonstrator aircraft completed its first flight last July. The demonstrator is being used to explore the flight characteristics of this protected, low-noise anti-torque device intended for use on Bell's new MAPL (Modular Affordable Product Line) of light helicopters.
The tail fan demonstrator is an experimental Bell 407 with a 40-in diameter fan and duct, which replace the 65-in diameter tail rotor. The tail fan incorporates technology developed during bench testing completed in early 2004, many features of which are covered by new patent disclosures. It has been designed to allow testing in multiple duct configurations to provide information on their performance and acoustics in hover and forward flight.
The tail fan is one of several new technologies being developed specifically for the MAPL family, including an advanced rotor demonstrator that was scheduled to fly in late 2004. The first aircraft in the MAPL family is expected to be available in 2008, though some of the new technologies are mature and could be incorporated in existing Bell aircraft.
Aerospace Engineering, Society of Automotive Engineers, 2005
Year built: 1995
Construction Number (C/N): 52901
Number of Seats: 7
Number of Engines: 1
Engine Manufacturer and Model: Rolls-Royce 250-C47B
Registration Number: N41835
Also Registered As: C-GFOS
Certification Class: Experimental
Certification Issued: 2004-05-06
Air Worthiness Test: 2006-05-24
Last Action Taken: 2004-06-07
Current Status: Deregistered
Registration Cancel Date: 2006-06-12
Registration Type: Corporation
Owner: BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC
Address: Fort Worth, TX 761010482
NOTE: The airframe returned to being C-GFOS after the test period was completed. Its current status is unknown.