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