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In the early 1930 's, Arthur Young , a brilliant young inventor, built and successfully demonstrated a viable, flyable helicopter model.

Larry Bell , a successful entrepreneur and founder of the Bell Aircraft Corporation , was so impressed with Young's efforts that in 1941 he set the youthful inventor up in a small shop in Gardenville, New York

At that time Bell was already a manufacturer of conventional aircraft such as the WWII fighter P-39 Airacobra and the P-59, America's first jet-powered airplane. In addition, Bell was to develop the X-1, which was to become the world's first super- sonic plane.

By 1951, Bell helicopters were in service around the world, breaking records as fast as they were setting them. And since Bell Aircraft Corporation's reputation for helicopter manufacture began to rival its reputation as a builder of conventional aircraft , the company created a separate helicopter division which was headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Today, with Bell helicopters flying in more than 120 different countries , they are logging another ten hours every minute of every day.

1935 : Bell Aircraft Corporation 56 employees make up the entire staff of the newly founded Corporation.

1941 : Development begins on the first Bell helicopter. With a tethered control linemodel, Arthur Young proves his invention is workable.

1942 : Gardenville, New York becames the site for Arthur Young and his apprentice, Bartram Kelley to produce a full-size vertical takeoff aircraft.

1943 : Bell 30 The ship #1 nicknamed Genevieve flies for the first time

1945 : Bell 47 (H-13 Sioux) would subsequently set the stage for a whole new industry.

March 8, 1946 : The Bell 47 receives Helicopter Type Certificate No. 1 : NC-1H It's the first one ever granted by the Civil Aeronautics Board ( forerunner of the FAA )

1946 : Bell establishes the first flight training school for commercial helicopters pilots.
In December, first production helicopters are delivered to the US Army.

1949 : Bell 54 ( YH-15 ) A utility helo for the USAF with a gross weight of 1225 kg

1950 : Bell 48 ( R-12 / YH-12 ) 13 units built.

1951 : Bell Helicopter division moves to Hurst, Texas

1952 : Agusta Spa licencesing aggreement to built Bell helicopters in Italy

March 4, 1953 : Bell 61 ( HSL-1 ) Antisubmarine Helicopter. 50 units built and used by the US Navy until replaced with the truly hunter/killer Sikorsky S-58 ( HSS-1 then SH-34 )

April, 1953 : 1000th helicopter rolls off the Bell assembly line.

1954 : XH-13F A derivative of the Bell 47, it is Bell's first turbine helicopter

August 23, 1955 : Bell 200 tilt-rotor ( XH-33 / XV-3 ) This aircraft converts from takeoff in helicoper mode to straight and level flight like an airplane. Starting built in 1953, this experimental aircraft flew until 1966, proving the fundamental soundness of the tiltrotor concept and gathering data about technical improvements needed for future designs. The airframe returned to texas in 2004.

Continue - Part II

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