keep smiling (and flying)...

Bell Helicopter

This page is dedicated to the helicopter of my first flight

Bell 47G-2A VH-KHJ
and how that model came about

I wanted to know some details of aircraft and it's history.
BELL - The Leading Edge of Vertical Lift
Bell Aircraft Corporation was founded by Mr Larry Bell in July 1935. The company specialised in designing and the production of
fighter aircraft.

It all started with the YFM-1 Aircuda. A twin engine fighter to oppose attack bombers, P-39 Airacobra, P-59 Aircomet (the 1st US jet fighter) and P-63 King Cobra which was the successor to the P-39.
In 1941  and just before the United States entered into WW2, Larry Bell saw a small helicopter model crafted by inventor and philosophy student, Mr Arthur Middleton Young (pictured left with model).

Within 6 months the Bell Aircraft Corporation team had designed and constructed the 1st Bell helicopter. They designed and fabricated parts as they went. They solved problems with the use of mathematics, model experiments, intuition and plenty of trial and error.

The 1st helicopter was designated as Model 30. It's 1st flight was on December 29, 1942. The Model 47 was developed from this series.

"Ship 1" was powered by a 165hp Franklin engine which was mounted vertically, the fuselage was made partly of plywood beams, the tail cone was riveted magnesium, rotor blades were a composite of fir and balsa wood with a steel reinforcement bar running down at the leading edge.
Bell 47J, Bell 30 (1st model), Bell 30-2,
Bell 30-3 (Bell 47 modelled from this one)
Bell Hul-1G 47J (centre),
Bell 47 H13 Sioux,
Kawasaki KH-4
The 1st prototype for the Model 47 was airborne on December 8, 1945. It was the 1st helicopter to use the high visibility "gold fish bowl" style canopy. This aircraft was used for both military and civilian roles. The 47 G-2A was considered an civilian aircraft. On March 8, 1946 the Model 47 was awarded the world's 1st helicopter type certification by the US Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA).

Bell Aircraft Corporation built more than 5600 units of Model 47's between the years, 1945-1974. This included the helicopter being produced under licence in Italy, Japan and United Kingdom. In 1949, a Bell 47 set an altitude record of 18,500 ft and speed record of 153.9 mph.

The Model 47 was based on the 3rd Model 30 prototype and has several variants...Bell H13 Sioux, Bell 47J Ranger and Kawasaki KH-4.
47 G-3 H13 Sioux - both civilian and military use, 47G with 225 hp Franklin 6VS-335-A engine, has lomger rotor blades and 14" longer tail boom.1195kg TOGW
47 J-2 Ranger - 240 hp VO-540-B IB engine, metal rotor blades, fixed stabiliser, hydraulic controls, blue tinted bubble and windows, 48-USG fuel capacity, 1285 kg TOGW
47 J - 4 seat development of Model H, 220 hp Lycoming VO-435-A1B engine, 35-USG fuel capacity, 1157 kg TOGW
Kawasaki KH-4 - general purpose, 4 seats, 201 kw Lycoming TVO-435-B1A air cooled engine, changes to cabin accommodate extra passengers, supercharged engine, new instrument layout, modified control system, larger fuel capacity